Sliding Rock is bigger – and colder – than we imagined it to be. The whole experience was like taking a step back in time to when water slides and amusement parks didn’t exist and kids had to find their own fun. Located in the Pisgah National Forest near the quaint town of Brevard, North Carolina, we visited one weekend in June to camp at Davidson River Campground and check out Sliding Rock, which has been on my bucket list for a few years. It was a great weekend of outdoor fun -check out our highlights:
Sliding Rock is a 60-foot-long natural rock slide that dumps swimmers into large pool of chilly water (50-60 degrees). It’s the perfect adventure on a hot summer day. The slide is fueled by 11,000 gallons of water per minute from Looking Glass Creek.
The chilly pool at the base of the slide is 6 to 8 feet deep, so you need to know how to swim or wear a lifejacket. My suggestion is to put a lifejacket on anyone under the age of 10 that isn’t a top-notch swimmer. We saw plenty of barefoot and bikini-clad bozos when we visited, but the sane approach to this rocky surface is to wear shorts and water shoes or Chacos. There are several observation decks and large rocks for anyone wanting to hang out and watch, but not experience, the slide.
Lifeguards are on duty and changing rooms and restrooms are open from May 27 through September 4 (10 a.m.-6 p.m.). After Labor Day, lifeguards work on weekends through mid-October. Call this hotline for last-minute info, including closure due to high water: 828-885-7625.
During the summer, parking can get crowded so it’s a good idea to get there early in the day. The slide’s peak hours tend to be on Saturdays and Sundays from noon and 4 p.m. During summer season, there is a $2 fee per person (cash or check) to enter the area; children 6 years and under are free. Restrooms and changing rooms are available on-site during the summer season.
Sliding Rock is located only 7 miles down the road from Brevard, where you’ll find plenty of delicious food options after a few hours of fun at Sliding Rock. We enjoyed the food and live music at Hawg Wild Barbecue during our visit, and ice cream at Dolly’s Dairy Bar.
Davidson River Campground is perfectly placed between the town of Brevard (where there is an Ingels grocery store and restaurants) and Sliding Rock. The campground runs along the Davidson River and is a great place for trout fishing, tubing and swimming.
Sliding Rock is located in Transylvania County in western North Carolina, which advertises itself as the Land of Waterfalls. Sliding Rock is near Looking Glass Falls, Looking Glass Rock, Daniel Ridge Falls, Pink Beds Hike and the Cradle of Forestry. For a list of waterfalls and trails, see the Pisgah Forest Waterfall & Hiking Map.
For more information about Sliding Rock and other adventures in western North Carolina, visit RomanticAsheville.com or call the Pisgah Ranger Station and Visitor Center at 828-877-3350.