010 – Sliding Rock

Accessibility – Easy

Height: Approx 30′ (sliding distance is about 60′)

Distance – 0.2 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 5

Photo rating – 5

Solitude – 3

GPS Info: LAT 35.3112 LONG -82.7869

Last updated: 2/20/2016

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Sliding Rock is the third major waterfall you’ll come to as you drive North on US276 through Pisgah Forest. Sliding Rock presents visitors with the opportunity to interact with nature in a different way. The waterfall measures 30 feet in height as the water slides along a 60 foot long section of smooth stone (relatively smooth). At the base of the slide is an eight foot deep collection pool. If you’ve ever wanted to slide down a waterfall, this is your stop. During the summer months, lifeguards are posted and an admission fee of $2 is charged. You can slide at other times but you do so at your own risk. The attraction of sliding and the ease of access conspire to make this a hard one to have for yourself.

The access road is near the midpoint between the park entrance in Brevard and the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the intersection of 64/276/280 in Brevard, follow 276 North for 7.8 miles (1.1 mile past Moore Cove) to access road on the left. There is an admission booth which is manned in the summer until about an hour before sunset. The parking area is fairly large but it does fill up. Coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway the access road is on the right 7.2 miles from the stop sign at the base of the ramp off the BRP.

The hike is more of a walk down the sidewalk. There are bathrooms that are open in season and numerous trash cans that most opt not to use. Like Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock is a collection point for discarded clothing and towels along with empty water bottles. An overlook above the falls looks down on the rock as it slopes away from you while a observation deck at the base allows you to look back upstream. If you’re going sliding, keep this in mind. In the heat of summer the water warms to a balmy 62 degrees. Also, the area from the lower observation deck to the water is a muddy morass most of the summer from all the traffic. I have not done the slide but in June of 2014, Jen and Alana did. They reported that the water was really cold!

The photo opportunities can be challenging due to the crowds during prime season. The other challenge is the observation points. While each provides a view of the falls, they also tend to get into the shots. From the base the upper observation platform is plainly visible on the right. The downstream observation deck can be cropped out but the view from the top of the falls isn’t that great. The shots below highlight Sliding Rock in different seasons. They also hint at my evolution as a photographer.

Sliding Rock – Off-season view – October 2013
Sliding Rock – July 2015

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