While just about every visitor to Sedona waits the mile-long line into Slide Rock State Park (think July 4th crowd, every single day) there is a much better option downstream. Down off of the long and winding Red Rock Loop Road you will descend into a peaceful haven alongside the waters of Oak Creek.
The sound of running water is incredibly soothing, and you can’t help but relax as you sit with a book or pen and paper in hand, with your toes in the cool stream. There are many spots for relaxation along the river – when you first begin to walk towards it you will see the most used area where there are usually large groups of people, namely families with little children. However, if you continue on the path as it swings left, you’ll find many little spots to set your chair near to the water (or in it!) and enjoy the ever-pleasant weather. There’s enough room here for you to find a relatively secluded spot most of the time.
There are three options for accessing the creek here – to visit the actual day use area and pay their fee (unless you have purchased a Grand Red Rock Pass!), to visit Cathedral Rock’s parking lot and hike approximately a mile to the creek, or park on the south side of the creek off of Red Rock Crossing Road (starts off as Verde Valley School Road) and hike in from Baldwin trail. The latter two options still cost $5 unless you have an America the Beautiful Interagency Pass or Grand Red Rock Pass. We made the Cathedral Rock hike many times and can say it is a very pleasant, very mild hike. Either way, any and all money spent towards visiting these places goes to protecting this incredible and diverse landscape. This is very important, considering the amount of visitors they receive every year – remember to pack in and pack out! Visit this link to see their location on google maps.