Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest: Everything To Know

Sliding Rock is a natural 60-foot run waterslide open to the public. It’s just one hour away from Asheville and offers an exhilarating outdoor experience. Plus, it’s an excellent way to cool off in the summer! This guide shares everything to know before visiting Sliding Rock.

Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest

Sliding Rock Quick Facts

Location: Pisgah National Forest – Pisgah Highway (near Brevard)

Admission Fee: $5 per person ($2 if no lifeguard on duty)

Waterfall Slide Length: 60 feet

Natural Pool Depth: 8 feet

Distance from downtown Asheville: 36 miles (via Blue Ridge Parkway)

Drive time from downtown Asheville: 60 minutes (via Blue Ridge Parkway)

Directions to Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock is located in the Pisgah National Forest on Pisgah Highway (276). It can be accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway or from the entrance to the national forest near Brevard. Check out our itinerary for a great day trip loop along this route.

Via Blue Ridge Parkway

For breathtaking views along the way from Asheville, we recommend taking the Blue Ridge Parkway. You will take the parkway southwest from Asheville and exit onto Pisgah Highway (276) at Milepost 411.8. From here you will drive 2 1/2 miles until you reach the Sliding Rock entrance and parking area on the right.

Via Mills River (I-26 and Hwy 280)

For a slightly faster route, you can also access Sliding Rock from Hwy 280. Driving south from Asheville you will take I-26 to Exit 40 (AVL airport exit). From there you will follow Hwy 280 for 16 miles until you reach US-276.

Here you will turn right and pass the sign indicating you are entering Pisgah National Forest. From there the recreation area will be a little less than 8 miles with the parking lot on the left.

If you go this way, you can easily pop into the charming mountain town of Brevard either before or after your Sliding Rock visit. It’s about ten minutes away from the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. Another fun option is to grab a coffee and mini donuts from the Velvet Cup coffee truck at the entrance.

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Sliding Rock Parking and admission

Parking is available at Sliding Rock past the entrance gatehouse. Admission is $5 per person over 3 and must be paid to access the parking lot. There is a reduced rate of $2 per person if a lifeguard isn’t on duty.

The gatehouse is located in the main parking lot and is closer to the attraction than the overflow lot. If you don’t see any parking spots here, though, just drive over the bridge in front of you to additional parking.

Although Sliding Rock has a primary parking lot and an overflow lot, it can fill up during peak times during the summer, especially on weekends and around holidays.

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Everything To Know About Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock is a unique waterfall that cascades down a smooth granite rock face, making a natural water slide. The rock creates a 60-foot run that ends in an 8-foot deep pool.

All ages are welcome to enjoy Sliding Rock, but it’s not ideal for really young kids because the rock slides into a deeper pool. Life jackets are definitely a great idea!

Sliding Rock is open seasonally from May to October and may be closed after rain events if water levels are too high. The area is actually open year-round, but restrooms are only available from May to October and lifeguards are only on duty from mid-May to mid-September.

From the parking lot, you will take a short trail to the restrooms and changing rooms. From there the trail leads downstream to the pool at the bottom of the slide past a couple of observation platforms.

There are smaller rocks scattered about where you’ll find lots of people hanging out on warmer days. There’s also a swimming hole at the bottom of the rock. There are stairs along the left side of the rock that takes you to the top. Make sure to hold onto the rail!

During peak visiting times you can expect to wait up to ten minutes just to slide down. It’s a busy spot!

Accessing the top of the rock

Informational sign at Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest

From the top, you can take one of three paths sliding down the rock. Your speed varies depending on which path you take. The slowest path is the one closest to the stairs. Speed increases as you get closer to the center of the rock.

The average water temperature at Sliding Rock is a refreshing 55 degrees. It’s a great way to cool off but not for the faint of heart. The toughest run is the first but once you get wet you’ll be ready to go!

Picnics at Sliding Rock

Pinics aren’t allowed at Sliding Rock in an effort to keep the number of visitors hanging around down. If you are looking for a great picnic spot in Pisgah National Forest, head to Sycamore Flats, Pink Beds Loop pinic area, Looking Glass Falls or Coon Tree Picnic Area. All are located along Pisgah Highway.

Once you are done checking out the attraction, head to one of the other nearby attractions! We particularly love hopping on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hiking at Black Balsam Knob. Another excellent destination is Graveyard Fields. It’s also off the Blue Ridge Parkway and offers swimming holes, waterfall views and even berry picking in the late summer.

What To Bring To Sliding Rock

We wanted to include a few details about what to bring to Sliding Rock because it’s a place where you don’t want to be unprepared. First of all, bring a swimsuit and sunscreen! There is a changing area available if needed. Which, speaking of, you should bring a change of clothes to get into once you are done.

You’ll also want to bring a towel because they aren’t available there. Lots of people wear water shoes to help with grip. Also, life jackets are an excellent idea, especially for kids! It can get really chaotic at Sliding Rock and it never hurts to be prepared.

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