When I was little, my family would take a vacation to Fort Tuthill, a place where military families could rent a cabin or trailer. Fort Tuthill is located between Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona. We would usually stay a week and take a day trip to the Grand Canyon and/or Slide Rock.
We would pile in the car and take the drive down the winding two lane road to the bottom of the canyon. Back then, we parked along the road and hiked down a thin path to get to the creek. Today, there is a parking lot where you have to pay, and the path is much wider. My brother and I would put on at least three pairs of pants with our swimsuits underneath. We learned that after descending down the smooth rock slide for several hours, it would wear a hole in our bottoms. The water was ice cold at first and it wasn’t long until you got used to it. Right after you slid down the slide, you immediately tried to get out. The rocks along the edges in the water were very smooth which made getting out a chore. You would usually end up floating down stream before being able to scamper out. It was always a blast. We always slept in the car back to Fort Tuthill.
Slide Rock State Park got its name from the natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek. It is located in Oak Creek Canyon and only 7 miles from Sedona. In 1907, Frank L. Pendley developed the land and obtained a title under the Homestead Act in 1910. He created an irrigation system which watered his apple orchard. The road through the canyon was finished in 1914 and Pendley took advantage of the traffic and built the tourists cabins for them to rent.
On July 10, 1985 the Arizona State Parks acquired the park and two years later Slide Rock State Park was dedicated. On December 23, 1991, the Pendley Homestead Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. His apple farm is still maintained today.