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 there 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.
How to use a natural water slide: Starts from a standing position at the top of the chute. Take a few steps the and 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.
Unlike a man-made water park, this slide is free! No fee or permit is required, so get out there 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 up for half a mile. As the road rounds a bend, the creek will be visible pouring over a large rock. Break off the trail here and get ready for the most fun you can have in Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Trailhead address: Forest Route 22S82, Sequoia National Forest, Springville, CA93208
Trailhead coordinates: 36.027466, -118.515284 (36° 01′ 38.87″N 118° 30′ 55.02″W)
You may also view a regional map of surrounding Sierra Nevada trails and campgrounds.
This 5-mile hike visits a fire tower with unbeatable views of the region.
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 Flats 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.