Just days before the stay-at-home order was issued, I had hoped to start my spring break with a trip to my favorite spot for some peaceful time in the sun. I had it all planned out. Some friends and I were going to bring a cooler with food and picnic out on the rocks, maybe dip our feet in the pools, and spend some calm, quality time together.
I would climb from rock to rock, wade into the water, maybe even float on an inner tube to get a good shot or two with my camera. There would be books everywhere, maybe a guitar and harmonizing voices, towels, and sunscreen. I would have brought my Bluetooth speaker and a cooler with snacks too.
Now almost two months later I still have not visited Slide Rock. About a mile down the road from Triangle Lake hides natural pools where you can cliff jump and glide down the slick rock slide, swim in the sunlight, sit behind the falls, explore the surrounding area, and tan out on the rocks.
The rock slide pours into the lower pool, where you can swim, float, or jump off a giant fallen tree. From the lower pool, you can climb back up to the upper pool on a wide ledge.
I spent my 16th birthday with my family and a friend, where my crazy cousins, uncles, aunts, mother, and siblings spent the day last summer for a family reunion, it’s where some close girlfriends and I went to get some fun in the sun.
The first time I went down the rock slide, I did not use an innertube. I had watched people go down for a while before I mustered up the courage to go down myself. I positioned myself in a place where I hoped I wouldn’t hit a jagged rock that the water flows into.
I pushed off and flew. The wind pushed my hair back as my body slid down the slick surface, hit the jagged rock, and jetted into the lower pool. I came up from the water grinning. I went down that slide so many times that day, but with an innertube. The jagged rock wasn’t too bad, but I figured it could tear up my leg if I continuously went down without an innertube.
The first time I went to the pools, a guy went down the slides in cargo shorts and unfortunately split them down the middle. It was amusing but I was embarrassed for him. He spent the rest of the day hiking around the surrounding area.
On the side of the upper pool is a cliff with four ledges all at different heights. I never built up the courage to jump off the three higher ledges, as they are more difficult to get to. I’ve only seen one person jump off the top ledge, which really isn’t much of a ledge. I was nervous that I would have to perform CPR that day. Luckily I didn’t have to.
Lake Creek Falls emptying into the upper pool. There’s a ledge you can follow to hide behind the falls.
Going with my family during our Weber Family Weekend reunion trip was a great time! I love my cousins, and we jumped in the water together and raced down the slides. My uncle cannonballed from one of the higher platforms, sending a huge wave over his kids. My mom captured all the laughter with her camera. We plan to go back again for this year’s reunion.
Above the upper pool, a waterfall drapes over an easily-climbable mossy ledge. The ledge creates a small cove where you can lay behind the falls or use it to slide through into the pool below. Climbing up the mossy slope takes you to some quieter pools that lead upstream to a 25-foot waterfall. I haven’t explored past the more isolated pools, but you can hear the falls from there.
For individuals who prefer a crowd-less scenery, the pools above the cliff jumping pool are not typically busy. It’s serene and shady, but be sure to watch your step as it is slippery in that area. You can still hear the business below, but the water’s movement and the swaying of the trees catch your attention and sing in your ears.
I’ve encountered many friendly faces at Slide Rock. Last time I went, my friends and I were dipping our feet in the water at the top of a slide and a family offered their innertube to us. I had no intention of swimming because it was still a little cold, but their kindness was wonderful.
One downside is that the parking situation can be quite a mess. There is a parking lot, but it is small. I have heard of people getting tickets if they park on the side of the road, so if this is your only option I would advise parking somewhere where your car won’t be on the road at all.
While there is a bathroom, which is currently closed, at the parking lot, I haven’t had good experiences with it. It’s rarely ever clean. There is no lodging or restaurants near Slide Rock, but there is a grocery store. Lakeview Grocery is a two-minute drive away.
People typically spend a half to a full day here. To ensure a shady parking spot, I usually try to get there around 11 a.m. or noon, just as the cool morning starts burning off. This also increases your chances of claiming a perfect shady spot by the water to keep your things and relax.
Where: 19190 OR-36, Blachly, OR 97412
What: Natural rock slide and swimming holes
Best way to get there: Drive
Where to eat: Lakeview Grocery
Best time to go: Summer