Ultimate Guide to Sliding Rock
Located just 7.6 miles from Pilot Cove inside Pisgah National Forest near Brevard and Asheville, North Carolina, Sliding Rock has been a favorite of generations of visitors to the area. The waterfall is a slick, natural 60-foot rock slide into a small, 6-8 foot deep pool. The ride is quick and fast-paced, and the water is refreshingly cool. This is the perfect place to cool off after a nice hike in the forest.
Sliding Rock is Western North Carolina’s only local swimming hole with lifeguards present during the summer. It is also an extremely popular spot, so prepare to be patient waiting in line, relaxing on the rocks, or watching from the observation decks.
This is your ultimate guide to Sliding Rock!
You can enjoy Sliding Rock year-round during daylight hours (although the 50-60 degree water temperatures in summer may say otherwise!), you’ll only find lifeguards, changing rooms, and restrooms on these dates from 10 am to 6 pm:
April 30 – May 7: Saturdays and Sundays
May 7 – September 30: 7 days a week
October 1 – 31: Saturdays and Sundays
The cost to enter the Sliding Rock parking area is $4 per person when staff is on duty. Payment is available via cash or credit card, and children 3 and under are free.
While you can enter for free during “off hours,” please note that restrooms will be closed, lifeguards will not be around, and donations are still encouraged.
- $4/person except for children 3 and under
- You must be able to swim as the pool at the bottom is 6-8 feet deep. But you can also come and just observe!
- Children under 7 must slide with an adult.
- Don’t bring any flotation devices other than life jackets and children’s puddle jumpers (no tubes, etc.)
- Water shoes are recommended.
- The parking area will fill up at times. Try to come early or late, avoiding the peak hours of 12-4 pm, especially on weekends.
- Slide in sitting position only.
- No alcohol is permitted. Instead, stay hydrated!
- Wi-Fi and cell reception will be unavailable.
- Leashed pets are allowed, but may not slide.
- No picnicking is allowed, but one great area nearby to enjoy a picnic lunch is Pink Beds.
Access to Sliding Rock is directly off 276. With limited cell service and tricky GPS navigation in the area, make sure to bring directions with you: From Asheville, take I-26 East to Exit 40 (Hwy 280/Asheville Airport.) Take a right onto Highway 280 West and go 16 miles heading toward Brevard. As you enter Brevard, you’ll pass Wal-Mart on the right. Turn after Wal-Mart onto US Hwy 276 North (the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway) to enter Pisgah National Forest. Go 7.6 miles to a parking area on the left.
Other nearby falls and landmarks include Looking Glass Falls, Looking Glass Rock, Pink Beds, the Cradle of Forestry, and more.
Whenever visiting waterfalls or enjoying natural swimming holes, be sure to exercise caution and use your best judgment regarding safety. Rocks can be slippery and diving is never recommended. Do not enter water during extremely high flow or thunderstorms.