Back for More Arizona - Winter 2014 travel blog

canyon bridge

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon

panorama

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Slide Rock

Slide Rock

Slide Rock

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Slide Rock State Park

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sliding


Oak Creek has carved a beautiful canyon between Flagstaff and Sedona. The winding canyon road is lined with trees and there are numerous spots to stop and admire the scenery. The red rocks, green vegetation, bright blue skies - absolutely beautiful! Sliding Rock State Park is located in the middle of the drive. I vividly remember the first time we came upon sliding rock as we drove the canyon on a hot summer day in 1979. We had no idea it was there, but the hordes of people sliding down the smooth whirlpools carved in the canyon by Oak Creek made us come to a screeching halt. Those in the know brought bathing suits. I jumped into the water with my clothes on. The cold water swept me down the canyon. It was so much fun.

Today it was not nearly as hot and I still did not bring my bathing suit. Perhaps being 35+ years older was also a factor in me staying on the shore and watching the laughing and screaming families. Taking photographs and enjoying the view was fun enough for an old lady.

We avoided Sedona over the weekend because it was so crowded on Friday, but it was equally crowded today. But from what we saw in Oak Creek Canyon, the busy season is the summer when people come here form the lower elevations in the south where the temperatures are over 100ยบ for days on end. The fee we paid to visit the state park doubles beginning on Memorial Day. Some of the small campgrounds we saw in the canyon aren't even open yet. But we have had trouble finding a place to park at times and the traffic just crawls through the town. The congestion is aggravated by the design of the roads. Most major intersections are roundabouts. People aren't used to all the merging and some wait and wait before plunging into the circle. And the cars pile up behind them. As the navigator I also loathe traffic circles. Every time I think I've got us on the right road, more decisions need to be made as we twirl around another roundabout. It does give you lots of time to examine the trendy restaurants and alluring gift shops. Maybe there's some logic behind this road design...

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