Natural Water Slide
in Giant Sequoia National Monument
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.
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.
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.
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)
You may also view a regional map of surrounding Sierra Nevada trails and campgrounds.
|Needles Lookout |
This 5-mile hike visits a fire tower with unbeatable views of the region.
|Dome Rock |
This short hike just off Western Divide Highway provides a great view of the valley below.
|Trail of 100 Giants |
This paved 0.5 to 1.3-mile loop explores a grove of giant sequoias alongside Western Divide Highway.
|More trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains |
Explore other destinations in the Sierra including Sequoia National Park.
|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.
|Mill Creek in Moab, Utah |
This half-mile hike visits a swimming hole that offers refreshing escape from Utah's summer scorchers.
|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.
Thanks for the information. Looks like it might be painful and cold without a wet suite.
On a hot summer day, the water is completely refreshing without a wetsuit. Belly-flopping into the pool can get painful though…
During the summer the air is so hot and dry you can’t wait to get wet. The shock of hitting the frigid water in the pool is comparable to a drug rush. Even cut-off Levi shorts dry out within a half hour.
Cut off Levi shorts, 1987 called and wants it’s style back
[…] Next time hopefully Trail of 100 Giants won’t be closed and it will be warm enough to try out the natural water slide! […]
Sliding down that slide looks fun, just hope the ground is soft.
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:
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?
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!
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!
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!
Does anyone know if the water is running enough to use the slide today (for July 4th weekend)?
I was at the slides over the weekend and they were low but still a lot of fun.
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 !
We called that section “The Tubs”
Hi – wondering if anyone’s been here lately? How is the water considering the drought? Thanks!
Just returned, water still flowing, and a bit low but great time had by all. And yes, the water was still shockingly cold!
Thanks Lynda! Going to head there next week, really excited!
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!
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
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?
I went today 10/3/14. Plenty of water coming down, freezing water, nice sunny day. It was tons of fun!
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!
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?
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.
[…] Sequoia National Forest Waterslide […]
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.
Wait so it is closed? Is there still enough water to make the slide fun? I really want to go down next weekend.
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.
Yes. Dogs are allowed on this trail and others in the national forest.
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.
Did you find it Mylene?
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?
Several campgrounds are fairly close by, like Quaking Aspen Campground and Redwood Meadow Campground, which is right across from the Trail of 100 Giants.
Just wanted to update this and say we visited the waterslide today and there was still water flowing enough to slide down
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!
Will there still be water this coming up weekend for Labor Day?
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!
Is the water flowing well enough to go down now- 7/16/2018.
Anyone go down recently?
The last time I was there was about 43 years ago then you could drive right up to the edge of the rock where the slides are and many people did, we often went there on Labor Day and the Hells Angels Oakland chapter usually showed up to about 30 or 40 of them. There was usually about 200 hippies and we all sat around on the edge of the rockslide naked it was quite a scene. The water in the spring is very cold and I had to pull more than a couple of people out of the pool below because they were so cold they couldn’t swim to the edge. To Hell’s Angels try to ride their Harleys across the slide at 2 in the morning and one nearly slid his bike down into the pool fun fun fun.
I can remember being up there several times between ’72-73′ sometimes BA sometimes swimming suits and always a blast!
Does anyone know is the slides are dry right now?
Is there Camping near by?
Is there water to slide these day’s. Anyone been able to slide with this drought
Has anyone been to the slides recently? Is there water? Thanks!
It has been closed since last year (now 8-27-21). A bar gate blocks the road. Big bummer!