Tucked away amongst the trees in the Pisgah National Forest is a natural water slide that is begging for you to explore. Sliding Rock is a natural 60 ft mountain water slide that ends by plunging its riders into an 8 ft pool of water.
11,000 gallons of chilly 55-degree water makes its way over the slide per minute, which makes this an epic adventure.
Sliding Rock is a perfect day trip from Asheville since it is only roughly an hour away. Pack a swimsuit, a warm towel and get ready to cross this experience off your bucket list.
How Do I Get To Sliding Rock From Asheville
While GPS will often give you the quickest route which is down NC-280, there is an alternative route to Sliding Rock that many may prefer. The Blue Ridge Highway is a great scenic route to get to Pisgah National Forest.
Take in the beauty of the mountains and stop at scenic overlooks to make the most of your day trip from Asheville. With it only adding a few minutes to your drive time, this is the way to go! I highly recommend bringing a road map or atlas to keep in your backseat. In the event, there is no service or a lost connection you have the maps to get you home or to an area where you have service.
Does Sliding Rock Take Credit Cards And What Are The Hours
Yes, they do! Admission to Sliding Rock is $3 per person. Children 3 and under are free. They also accept cash and check. During the off-season, it is free to slide but consider leaving a donation.
Sliding Rock is open year-round during daylight hours for your sliding pleasure. Take note that during high water or lighting storms sliding rock will close. To take advantage of having lifeguards, changing rooms and restrooms open visit during the following:
- April-May weekends, 10 AM-4 PM
- Open daily from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day 10 AM-6 PM
- After Labor Day – October weekends 10 AM-4 PM
Where Do I Park At Sliding Rock
After you have paid to get into the Sliding Rock recreation area there is a parking lot and a back lot for guests to park in. I saw many cars lining the road leading up to the entrance of Sliding Rock, but there was plenty of parking in the lot when we visited. Which happened to be Memorial Day Weekend around 3 pm in the afternoon. Rumor has it the parking lot fills up fast between the hours of 12 pm-4 pm on summer weekends so plan accordingly.
What to Expect at Sliding Rock During Your Day Trip From Asheville
You will get a wristband after paying which you will need to wear to go down the slide. There is a paved walkway that leads you past the changing rooms and restrooms. There are also lockers here if you need to store your belongings.
The restrooms and changing areas are nicer than you would expect. There was running water, a changing table and most importantly it was CLEAN!
After you meander past the restrooms there is an observation area. Perfect for those who can’t take the icy plunge. Enjoy watching other freeze and slide down from the comfort of shaded benches. That’s right, freeze because the water is always a chilly 55-degrees.
Keep on venturing down the trail to get to the creekbed. Hop over a few big boulders to make your way to the line. There is also another observation deck that also serves as the exit from the pool. This is the best spot to snag that Instagrammable video.
If you opt to slide you will likely see a line forming to the left of the slide. There is a handrail to help you keep your balance because the rock can be slippery. Don’t be discouraged by the line. It moves fast and it is quite entertaining to watch others go down.
Children younger than 7 must slide with an adult. You can rent Personal Floatation Devices (PFD) for $6.00 near the entrance to the recreational area. These are the only floating devices allowed. Knowing how to swim is mandatory as the pool at the bottom of the slide is 8-ft deep.
Once you reach the top a lifeguard with direct you where to sit. The moment your butt hits that freezing water you may think of turning back, but you are already too far into bail now!
Put your hands up and away you go. The rock is smooth, but if it wasn’t I think your rear end is too cold to notice. A slight bump on a raised portion of the rock will send you down sideways, backward and every which way!
Then you join the polar bear club by hitting that pool. By the time you climb out (there is a ladder), your inner toddler is screaming, AGAIN, AGAIN! Check out the video of my trip down Sliding Down the Rock!
Tips For Visiting Sliding Rock
- Bring water shoes, because the rocks can be rugged and sharp.
- There is no WI-FI or internet service. You will have to wait to get into town to post those photos!
- Picnicking is not allowed in the Sliding Rock Recreation Area. This is mainly because parking is limited. There are picnic areas in the surrounding areas.
- You can hike to Sliding Rock. Check out hiking trails and waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest here.
- Pets are allowed but need to be leashed. They are not allowed to slide.
- If you are visiting with a toddler they may enjoy splashing around the creek bed, while the other person in your party goes down the slide. Our daughter just loved watching people go down the slide.
- We did run into serious traffic leaving the park. Apparently, we decided to leave when everyone else was and exited via US 276 North. A single traffic light kept us in traffic for over 45 minutes.
Sliding Rock made the perfect day trip from Asheville. My recommendation is to plan on spending a whole day to explore Pisgah National Forest.
Visit Looking Glass Falls, hike a few trails and pack a tasty picnic or two. The park is beautiful with plenty of picnic areas located along the creek. North Carolina is full of great family getaways. Here are five-weekend getaways in North Carolina you don’t want to miss.
Discover these unique spots in Gatlinburg if you are heading through the Smoky Mountains.
Sliding Rock: The Perfect Day Trip From Asheville