Arizona heat beater

The action at Slide Rock is cool, wet, and wild

Slide Rock State Park is your Rx for cooling off on a hot summer day: Wade across the creek, sit down by rocks where the stream narrows, then let the rushing waters whoosh you down a 70-foot-long rock chute into a deep swimming hole.

Slide Rock, a slippery natural chute, is deep within the sandstone cliffs of Sedona's Oak Creek Canyon. Along with several adjacent swimming holes, it's part of the 43-acre park, which was once an apple orchard. If you haven't been recently, check out the old apple barn being restored by volunteers.

Bring your own picnic, or pick up sandwiches and brownies at nearby Indian Gardens Country Store ($; 3951 N. State 89A, Oak Creek Canyon, AZ; 928/282-7702), then spread out on picnic tables scattered throughout the park or rock ledges near the creek. Wear river sandals and sturdy shorts to help smooth the few rough spots along the chute.

Info: Slide Rock State Park ($10 per car; 6871 N. State 89A, Sedona, AZ; or 928/282-3034) is open 8-7 daily. Creek waters can be closed for health reasons; call the Water Quality Hotline (602/542-0202) before heading out.

Cool off quickly with a frothy ride over slippery stones in Slide Rock State Park near Sedona.

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