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The festivals are a wonderful chance to meet Hopi and Navajo artists and discuss technique and inspiration (MNA also hosts a Zuni festival in May and a Dia de los Muertos event in October). Most artists don’t take credit cards, so be prepared: Be sure to have cash or a checkbook on hand.
The Museum of Northern Arizona is located three miles north of downtown Flagstaff on Hwy 180. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Fees: Admission $7/adults, $6/seniors, $5/students with ID, $4/Native Americans, $4/children 7–17, free for children 6 and under. For more information, visit www.musnaz.org or call 928-774-5213.
Slide Rock State Park
Of all Sedona’s summer hot spots, Slide Rock State Park is the place to be. Families from Phoenix mingle with co-eds from NAU at this natural water slide in Oak Creek Canyon but the parking lot fills up fast so grab your towels and water shoes (you’ll need them – they don’t call it slick rock for nothing) and fill up your cooler early, especially on the weekend. Spread out your towels on the red rocks that line both sides of Oak Creek, which remains quite cold, even in the summer, and watch the kids squeal with delight as the current of the creek pushes them across the rocks. The slide isn’t the only way to enjoy Oak Creek – there’s plenty of swimming holes both up and downstream from the slide area.
If you’d rather enjoy the fun from dry land set up shop at one of the picnic areas above the creek; a general store sits near the park’s historic apple orchard (picking fruit is not allowed). The 43-acre park was originally an apple farm acquired by Frank Pendley in 1910. Pendley took advantage of the newly paved Hwy 89A and built cabins for tourists in the 1930s. The Pendley home, cabins, and apple packing barn are still on-site. Slide Rock was designated an Arizona State Park in 1987 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. There are three hiking trails within the park: The paved, 0.25-mile Pendley Homestead Trail, Slide Rock Route (0.3-mile) traversing Oak Creek, and Clifftop Nature Trail (0.25-mile), which meanders above the creek and offers some great photo opportunities. Slide Rock is rarely closed due to water contamination, but if you’re concerned you can call the Water Quality Hotline at 602-542-0202. Water is tested daily. Sorry, Fido: Dogs are allowed in the park but not down at the water.
Slide Rock State Park is located six miles north of Sedona on Hwy 89A. Fees: $10/vehicle; camping is not allowed. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/red_rock/slide-rock-pic.shtml or call 928-282-3034.
MORE SEDONA ROAD TRIPS: Lake Powell, Havasu Canyon, photographing Arizona, 3 slot canyons, Acoma Pueblo, Grand Canyon, The Wave, Oak Creek Canyon, Crown King, Jerome, Sunset Crater Volcano, Wupatki National Monument, Arizona animal parks, Monument Valley, Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum, Navajo National Monument, Mormon Lake, Canyon de Chelly