Sliding Rock, North Carolina

How to Have the Best Adventure at Sliding Rock, North Carolina

The Western North Carolina Mountains are full of awe-inspiring landscapes and endless opportunities to get out and explore. But, if you want to get your heart racing, then you must visit Sliding Rock! For hundreds of years, families and nature-lovers have spent summers cooling off on the gentle slopes of this impressive waterfall. Here’s what you need to know if you would like to experience Sliding Rock, North Carolina, to the fullest! 

If you plan to visit Sliding Rock, North Carolina, you’ll want to check out the hiking trails and other swimming holes in the area. Be sure to access our free Vacation Guide for a complete list of them! The guide is also full of local tips about where to eat, attractions to see, and things to do during your stay at The Esmeralda Inn. 

How to Enjoy Your Day at Sliding Rock, North Carolina, and Pisgah National Forest 


Sliding Rock, North Carolina, is one of the last natural wonders in the U.S. and draws thousands of visitors from all over the world each year. For decades locals have used Sliding Rock as the ideal recreation area to beat the summer heat. With 11,000 gallons of water flowing around them, sliders glide down the rock and plunge into a small eight-foot-deep pool of water. The water temperature at Sliding Rock rarely climbs above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so the pool at the bottom of the slippery rock is a perfect way to cool down in the summertime! If the weather is cooler, or you’d rather stay dry, enjoy views of Sliding Rock from one of several observation platforms! No matter how you decide to enjoy the falls, we guarantee that this will become your new favorite tradition. 


After taking the plunge in Sliding Rock, dry off, and take a short drive to Looking Glass Falls. Once you’ve admired the extraordinary 60-foot cascade, head down Blue Ridge Parkway to take in more beautiful mountain views!  

How to Get to Sliding Rock, North Carolina 

You can access the falls via the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway in the Pisgah National Forest. The 40-mile drive from Chimney Rock takes approximately one hour, and it is filled with breathtaking mountain views at every turn!  

Local-tip: The Pisgah National Forest is open year-round, but lifeguards only monitor the pools from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Changing rooms and restrooms are also open between these dates. 

Tips Before You Go 

  • Admission fees are paid at the gatehouse. 
  • Sliders under the age of seven must slide with an adult. 
  • Leave your inflatable tubes at home. Life jackets are the only flotation devices permitted. 
  • Peak times are usually Saturday and Sunday between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the summertime. Plan your visit during off-hours to avoid waiting in long lines. 
  • Don’t forget to bring your camera because there will be plenty of opportunities to snap photos!  

Get Ready for More Adventures at The Esmeralda

After an exhilarating day at Sliding Rock, North Carolina, we invite you to stay at The Esmeralda Inn and Restaurant. Our Chimney Rock bed & breakfast is surrounded by incredible hiking trailsbeautiful waterfalls, and endless places to explore. Lake Lure, and Chimney Rock State Park, are just minutes away, and our property boasts an excellent array of amenities, including our onsite restaurant, and park! Each of our rooms and cabins features top-notch amenities and is designed with your ultimate comfort in mind. No matter which of our accommodations you choose, we guarantee that your stay will be one for the books! 


Check our availability and book your stay today. We can’t wait to hear about your time exploring the Western North Carolina Mountains!