Sequoia National Forest water slide hike trail Sierra Nevada Mountains

On a hot summer day in the Sierra, what could be better than a cool water slide? Answer: a natural water slide. Fortunately, Giant Sequoia National Monument is nice enough to offer one. However, you wouldn’t know it from the park literature. Nature’s slip-n-slide goes unmentioned in handouts and websites. For that reason, many visitors miss out on this unadvertised attraction.

North of the town of Johnsondale, a remote creek flows over a smooth granite slab. At the bottom of the rock is a small pool where sliders are dumped off, punctuating a recreational ride down the creek with a refreshing exclamation point. The water slide is farther off the Western Divide Highway than other attractions in Giant Sequoia National Monument (like Trail of 100 Giants, Needles Lookout, and Dome Rock), but the mirth is worth the drive.

Sequoia Water Slide
The trail to the water slide

Hiking to the Natural Water Slide

Start from a parking area on Lloyd Meadow Road (Forest Route 22S82). Hike up a dirt fire road (Route 22S90) leading uphill from the left (west) side of the road. Hike up the fire road for 3/4 of a mile, overlooking the drainage of Dry Meadow Creek. The views are remote, rugged, and lovely.

As the road rounds a bend to the left, Alder Creek becomes visible below the right side of the road. The creek pours down a stretch of exposed bedrock. Alder Creek joins Dry Meadow Creek just below the natural water slide. Leave the trail here and take a path down to the creek. Get ready for some of the most fun you can have in Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Sequoia Water Slide
Coming down the water slide

Using the natural water slide

Start from a standing position at the top of the chute. Take a few steps to get going and then sit down on the slick moss-covered rock. Your momentum and the force of the water will push you down the slide. Lie back like a pencil or paddle with your hands to accelerate. As a variation, you can also go down “superman style.” Have fun and be safe.

Because water conditions change, the creek could get too dry to use as a water slide. Alternatively, the flow in the creek could get too strong and become dangerous for people to enter. Exercise caution. Your safety is your responsibility.

Sequoia Water Slide
Catching air at the bottom of the water slide

Unlike a man-made water park, this natural water slide in Giant Sequoia National Monument (within Sequoia National Forest) is free to visit! No entry fee is changed and permits are not required to hike to the water slide, so get out and enjoy!

To get to the waterslide: From the intersection of Western Divide Highway and Parker Pass Road (2.6 miles south of Trail of 100 Giants), head east on Parker Pass Road. After 6.5 miles, turn north on Lloyd Meadow Road (Forest Route 22S82) and take that road for 5.7 miles to a parking area on the right side of the road. A dirt fire road (Route 22S90) leads uphill to the left. Park where it is permitted and hike up the fire road to the water slide.

Trailhead address: Forest Route 22S82, Sequoia National Forest, Springville, CA 93208
Trailhead coordinates: 36.02745, -118.5153 (36° 01′ 38.8″N 118° 30′ 55.1″W)

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Photos

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These photos were taken in August of 2008. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Sierra Hiking and camping Needles Lookout
This 5-mile hike visits a fire tower with unbeatable views of the region.
Sierra Western Divide View Dome Rock
This short hike just off Western Divide Highway provides a great view of the valley below.
hiking trails sequoia Trail of 100 Giants
This paved 0.5 to 1.3-mile loop explores a grove of giant sequoias alongside Western Divide Highway.
hiking trails sequoia More trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Explore other destinations in the Sierra including Sequoia National Park.
Similar Trail
hiking trails sequoia Paradise Creek in Sequoia National Park
This short stroll leaves Buckeye Flat Campground to visit the perfect swimming hole for a hot summer day in the Sierra.
Moab hiking Mill Creek in Moab, Utah
This half-mile hike visits a swimming hole that offers refreshing escape from Utah's summer scorchers.
Camping
Sequoia Campgrounds Western Divide Ranger District Campgrounds
There are ten campgrounds in Giant Sequoia National Monument within the Western Divide Ranger District of Sequoia National Forest, including the 32-site Quaking Aspen Campground.

35 Comments on Natural Water Slide in Giant Sequoia National Monument

  1. Ken Shoufer wrote:

    Thanks for the information. Looks like it might be painful and cold without a wet suite.

    • hikespeak wrote:

      On a hot summer day, the water is completely refreshing without a wetsuit. Belly-flopping into the pool can get painful though…

  2. […] Next time hopefully Trail of 100 Giants won’t be closed and it will be warm enough to try out the natural water slide! […]

  3. water slide wrote:

    Sliding down that slide looks fun, just hope the ground is soft.

  4. Forma wrote:

    Did this a few years back, really fun! Some locals brought inflatable round rafts to slide down, but most people just slid down in their bathing suits.

    Also, one of my favorite “homemade” youtube videos is an ode to this slide:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtzYaTNlxpQ

  5. Ty wrote:

    Seth, going to the area for the first time this summer. What’s the best way to get to the slide from the north (king’s canyon)? Could I just drive and head south on 190 then 22S83?

    • hikespeak wrote:

      Hello,

      This would be the recommended way from Kings Canyon: http://goo.gl/maps/RpQx The best roads in to the trailhead are from the south, taking 22S82 to 22S83. Even though it looks long, this will be faster than taking the steep and windy road down from 190 to 22S83. Have a great trip!

  6. McRachie wrote:

    Hopefully someone still looks at these comments, I was wondering if there is water flowing down the slide all year long? I want to go in the late summer, but not if it will be dried up by then!

    • Sarah wrote:

      I was there over Memorial Day weekend this year (2013) and it was less water than last year, but still flowing enough to be fun. And the water was c-c-c-c-c-o-l-d!

  7. Nick wrote:

    Does anyone know if the water is running enough to use the slide today (for July 4th weekend)?

  8. Brian Ball wrote:

    I was at the slides over the weekend and they were low but still a lot of fun.

    • Rick wrote:

      There are some really nice big natural granite pools further down the same stream on the opposite side of the road. but beware of serious shrinkage, that water is coooold !

  9. shari wrote:

    Hi – wondering if anyone’s been here lately? How is the water considering the drought? Thanks!

    • lynda wrote:

      Just returned, water still flowing, and a bit low but great time had by all. And yes, the water was still shockingly cold!

  10. Randy wrote:

    Thank you lynda for the valuable timely update. I camped in the area back in the ’80s. Alot of fond memories. Maybe I’ll head up there again!

  11. Darrell wrote:

    I went in mid august and water was a little low but plenty to slide! Awesome place to go. So fun and so cold. Its so worth it. Take your pet and your lady and make sure they go in water with you! As a life coach I always look for new things and places to grow and have fun to increase my positive awareness!!! Have a great time

  12. Kristi wrote:

    Anyone been in the last couple of weeks? Was wondering if there was any water left?

    Also, what is the average daily temperature there this time of year?

    Kristi's ratings for this hike: Kristi gives a rating of 1Kristi gives a rating of 1Kristi gives a rating of 1Kristi gives a rating of 1Kristi gives a rating of 1
  13. Amanda wrote:

    I went today 10/3/14. Plenty of water coming down, freezing water, nice sunny day. It was tons of fun!

  14. Donna wrote:

    Hey guys. I will be camping at Quaking Aspen Campground this summer. Are there any tips for me on how to arrive to the water slide from the campground? Thank you in advance!

  15. Heidi wrote:

    What is the half mile hike like back to the slide? I’ll be with my 86 year old mother and my daughters 18 month old twins. Is the hike strenuous?

  16. Aaron Farr wrote:

    As of late July 2015 there was still plenty of (very cold) water for the waterslide.

    The hike is not strenuous – it’s merely a dirt road, though there is a slight incline. Getting off the road and down to the slide does require scrambling down a few rocks though.

  17. […] Sequoia National Forest Waterslide […]

  18. Frank Hacker wrote:

    I used to go there years ago when it was relatively unknown. Then word got out and careless people started drinking, smoking and shooting, and littered the place with broken bottles, pop top tabs, butts and bullets. That’s why the Forest Service blocked off the road. So be careful where you step. “Call something Paradise, kiss it goodbye” The Eagles.

    • Kedra wrote:

      Wait so it is closed? Is there still enough water to make the slide fun? I really want to go down next weekend.

  19. aimee perry wrote:

    Does anyone know if dogs are allowed in this area–we are coming from NC this summer with dogs and kids and would love to stop here.

  20. Mylene wrote:

    So my family is planning to go camping at Wishon Campground with plan to see the Natural Rock Slide. Does it still exist? I see Kedra asked on May 19, but I don’t see a response.

  21. Virginia wrote:

    I would like to visit this natural rock slide, but am not familiar with the area. Where is the best place to tent camp? And What are the costs?

  22. Katie wrote:

    Just wanted to update this and say we visited the waterslide today and there was still water flowing enough to slide down

  23. Sarah wrote:

    Hi everyone! We just got back from the natural water slide (my second visit). I just wanted to point out that from the parking lot to the actual slide area it’s more like a mile (I clocked it on GPS), not a half mile. Only mentioning to make sure people don’t think they’re lost hiking up that fire road for longer than you think!

  24. Christi Ann Heilman wrote:

    Will there still be water this coming up weekend for Labor Day?

  25. Jackie wrote:

    Went there today. Info on beta is not accurate. The parking lot is on the right BUT you need to cross the road to go to the dirt fire road. There will be a green gate closing off the road to cars but if you hike a mile up on road there will be a clearing on the right. The water is FREEZING! If you own a wetsuit, bring it!

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