Last Updated on October 22, 2021
Last Updated on October 22, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
Over the years, the waterfall has grown into a popular attraction and draws thousands of visitors each summer. Before you slide down, you can watch the falls from a platform.
The water cascades over a smooth 60-foot rock into a refreshing pool at a fast pace. Since you’ll likely be dealing with crowds and a hurried pace of getting to Sliding Rock, we want you to be as prepared as possible before visiting.
Here’s how we’ve organized this guide to ensure you don’t forget anything:
- About Sliding Rock
- Where is Sliding Rock?
- Hours and Admission
- Lifeguard Hours
- Safety Tips
- Sliding Down
- Nearby Picnic Spots
- More Nearby Places to Go
Read More: Unique Things to Do in North Carolina
About Sliding Rock
As we mentioned, Sliding Rock is an extremely popular natural waterslide. The rock itself is a 60-foot sloping boulder. According to the park service, 11,000 gallons of water flow across Sliding Rock per minute.
Add those two together and you have a fast, exhilarating ride!
Read More: The North Carolina Bucket List
Where is Sliding Rock?
Sliding Rock sits about eight miles from Brevard and is an easy day trip from Asheville.
Cell reception at Sliding Rock is spotty, so keep that in mind if you need directions for your next destination. Here’s a quick breakdown of what lies to the left or right:
- A right turn will take you back toward Brevard, which is 7.6 miles away. The Pisgah Ranger Station is about 6 miles away. When open, you can use its visitor center and restrooms. WiFi is also available here.
- Left will take you further along the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. You’ll also be able to join the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 412) after a 7.5-mile climb. We’ve mentioned nearby Blue Ridge Parkway Highlights in our “Nearby Places” section.
Read More: The Best NC Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes
Hours and Admission
While you can visit Sliding Rock all year, there is a $4 fee during the spring and summer months when the lifeguards are on duty. Admission is free during the off hours when there are no lifeguards.
Before entering the recreation area, you will approach an entrance gate to pay. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
There are also changing rooms and restrooms available when a lifeguard is on duty. If you visit during the “off” times, they will be closed, so plan accordingly.
Lifeguards are on duty from 10 AM to 6 PM on these dates:
- April 4 to May 17: Saturdays and Sundays
- May 22 to September 30: 7 days a week
- October 1 to 31: Saturdays and Sundays
Children are welcome to slide down Sliding Rock, but they must be able to swim. If they are under 7 years old, the child must slide with an adult.
We recommend that children wear lifejackets while in the water. Lifejackets are available for rent during the season.
Proper gear is also helpful for visiting Sliding Rock. Water shoes can help protect your feet against sharp rocks and give you a better grip. Swimwear that is well-fitting and durable is recommended because it’s a rough slide down the rock.
Sliding Down Sliding Rock
There are often long lines in the summer, but the thrill of sliding down the rock is totally worth the wait! It’ll take you just a few seconds to slide down and you’ll land in an eight-foot-deep pool.
From there, you’ll only need to swim a couple of feet to reach the shore. Onlookers tend to watch and cheer you on from the observation decks at the base and top of the falls.
The water temperature is known to be extremely cold, averaging about 55 degrees in the summer.
But don’t worry—there are plenty of rocks and sun for you to warm up on while you wait for your next turn to slide!
Ready to Visit Sliding Rock?
The thrill and exhilaration of visiting Sliding Rock is perfect for summer memories! After you slide down the 60-foot rock face and plunge into icy cold weather in the hot North Carolina sun, we guarantee you’ll be saying, “Let’s do it again!”
If you’ve gone down Sliding Rock, we’d love to hear your stories! Let us know here in the comments section or in our Facebook Group. Photos and videos of your times there are welcome.
Nearby Picnic Spots
Picnicking and alcohol are not allowed at Sliding Rock. Picnickers have plenty of options nearby, though. Pink Beds is four miles away and there are plenty of riverside tables along US 276.
More Nearby Places to Go
Forest Heritage Scenic Byway Highlights
As we mentioned, Sliding Rock lies along US-276, also known as the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. It forms an upside-down V shape for 65 miles and follows along three major roads, including the already mentioned US-276, NC-215, and US-64.
Some highlights on this road include Looking Glass Falls and Moore Cove Falls, both within a few miles of Sliding Rock. The Pink Beds Campground is another on the US-276 portion of the road. On the NC-215 side is the trailhead to Courthouse Falls and one of our favorites, French Broad Falls (Mill Shoals).
Nearby Blue Ridge Parkway Stops
After turning left, you’ll also meet the Blue Ridge Parkway. That iconic road is about 8 miles from Sliding Rock and you’ll enter at Milepost 412. Nearby highlights include some epic overlooks (Cradle of Forestry for starters), the Pisgah Inn, and Mount Pisgah to the North.
Head south and you’ll reach the Looking Glass Rock Overlook (MP 417), which is across the road from the Skinny Dip Falls Trailhead. Another mile south is Graveyard Fields (MP 418.8), an awesome waterfall hike!