Ride the River at Sliding Rock

Summer camping in Asheville along the Swannanoa River.

I’ve paid tons of money to take my kids to water parks all over the place. They flew down colorful plastic slides full of chlorinated water and loved every minute of it. So, when we had the chance to visit Sliding Rock we couldn’t wait!

Sliding Rock near Asheville, North Carolina was unlike any water slide we have ever experienced before!

(Photo courtesy of Romantic Asheville)

What is Sliding Rock?

Sliding Rock is a natural water slide created by a shallow creek flowing over a 60 ft. rock face and landing in an 8 ft. pool. This mountain water slide pumps out 11,000 gallons of water per minute!

And all that water is cold! Year-round, water temperatures at Sliding Rock hover around a cool 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Going down a natural water slide.
(She got brave enough to slide down by herself after a few tries!)

What to Expect at Sliding Rock?

Sliding Rock is in the Pisgah National Forest and is open all year long. However, it is only staffed with lifeguards with the restrooms open every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day and then on weekends until October 31.

This recreation area is subject to closing due to weather and water level. So, check their Facebook page or call before you go to make sure it’s open.

Sliding Rock is a very popular spot in the area and the parking area is likely to fill up fast. We went in the early afternoon on a weekday and didn’t have a problem finding parking. However, if you’re going on the weekend, I would try to get there early.

There is a small entrance fee of $3 per person (card or cash). You can also pay to rent life jackets or bring your own.

Taking the plunge into the pool at the bottom of Sliding Rock in North Carolina.
(This was her first of many trips down Sliding Rock!)

Quick Tips for Your Visit

Water Shoes

Wear water shoes! You have to cross the creek to get to the railing that leads to the top of Sliding Rock and the creek is very rocky. It would have been much easier to cross if we had worn water shoes.

Looking for cool rocks in the creek.
(My youngest decided to look for ‘cool rocks’ in the creek while the older ones were sliding.)

Life Jackets

I also recommend that you either bring life jackets or rent them for kids. The pool at the bottom of the slide is 8 feet deep, so you must know how to swim to go down the slide.

All kids 7 and under MUST slide down with an adult. Even though I slid with my youngest, it was hard for me to get both of us out of the deep pool at the end of the slide. Thankfully, she was wearing a life jacket and that made it MUCH easier.

One of many trips down Sliding Rock in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina.
(She wasn’t even mad about wearing a life jacket because she was having so much fun!)

Prepare to Freeze!

Even though you know the water is going to be cold and even though you’re feet and legs have been in the water getting to the top of the slide. It is NOTHING like plunging into that freezing cold pool at the end. It takes your breath away!

Going down Sliding Rock in North Carolina.

No Cell Phone Service

There is no cell phone service at Sliding Rock. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It felt good to disconnect for an afternoon, but I definitely wouldn’t take a trip to Sliding Rock if I was expecting a phone call.

(Even though she didn’t love Sliding Rock like the big girls, she still had a good time rock collecting.)

Our visit to this mountain water slide was hands-down our favorite part of our summer camping trip and fun way to mark another item off of our Fort Bragg Bucket List. In fact, Sliding Rock was one of the most unique experiences we have ever had and one we recommend to everyone!

Ride the River at Sliding Rock, North Carolina | Finding Mandee
Ride the River at Sliding Rock, NC | Finding Mandee

1 Comment

  1. October 20, 2019 / 2:28 pm

    Water is always besst part of day

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