Water parks are fun and all, but they tend to attract large crowds during the hottest part of the summer. If bumping up against 20 strangers in a wave pool sounds tiresome—never fear. There are numerous natural waterslides across the United States that will make you wonder why you ever paid money to swim in a chlorinated pool. Natural waterslides are a bit riskier than attending a water park with a lifeguard stationed every 10 feet. A natural waterslide is the ideal summer destination if you’re a strong swimmer who loves adventure and isn’t afraid of a few bumps and bruises.
ALPINE SLIDING ROCK
The state of Utah features waterfalls, rock formations, and beautiful natural wonders at every turn. A stroll down a seemingly uneventful street may reveal a spectacular hidden vista. Such is the case with Alpine Sliding Rock. Alpine Sliding Rock is tucked away near a seemingly uneventful neighborhood in the sleepy town of Alpine, Utah. A short, low impact hike leads visitors to a lovely waterfall that serves as a popular natural waterslide for locals. Alpine Sliding Rock is a huge hit among families with small children because the rocks are very smooth and not too steep. Alpine Sliding Rock is the ideal destination for visitors who aren’t brave enough to go cliff jumping, but still want to dip their toes into the world of natural waterslides.
JOHNSON’S SHUT-INS STATE PARK
Reynolds County, Missouri
If you visit during the peak of summer, there’s a good chance that Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park will be fairly crowded. Thankfully, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park features plenty of hidden nooks and crannies where visitors can enjoy the park’s cool, clear water without being overwhelmed by crowds. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park features small but fierce natural waterslides that propel visitors into a series of compact wading pools. Daredevils routinely execute flips from atop tall rocks and plunge into the park’s deeper waters. If potentially breaking your neck doesn’t sound appealing, you’re not alone. You don’t have to be a thrill seeker to have a good time. The bulk of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park visitors are content to float in serene, refreshing water as they bask in the beauty of one of the world’s most stunning natural water parks.
TRIANGLE LAKE ROCK SLIDES
Lake Creek Falls, Oregon
Triangle Lake Rock Slides is a popular spot for Oregon locals who delight in racing down a relatively roomy rock face that features a progressively steep incline. Due to its wide width, several people can safely slide down the Triangle Rock Slides at the same time. The rock slide’s shallow water ensures that the water rushing down the rock face is surprisingly warm—which is a rarity among natural waterslides. Triangle Lake Rock Slides is the ideal place to bring a well-inflated innertube for maximum comfort. Triangle Lake features lovely emerald-colored waters that are perfect for swimming. There are even a few deep pools that are favored by cliff jumpers. If you’re planning on cliff jumping, please make sure the water below is deep enough to avoid injury. The depth of Triangle Lake’s waters vary depending on where you are situated,
Lincoln, New Hampshire
New Hampshire‘s White Mountains are one of the most scenic mountain ranges in New England. Franconia Falls is undeniably one of the most breathtaking sights in an area that is celebrated for its unparalleled beauty. Franconia Falls features a series of smooth natural waterslides that are so perfectly formed, they appear as though they were carefully crafted by a master craftsman expressly for summer fun. Franconia Falls is an excellent choice for natural waterslide enthusiasts who are wary of snagging their favorite swimsuit on a jagged rock. Franconia’s most popular waterslide features a short drop at the bottom which sends visitors flying through the air prior to plunging into the water. Franconia Falls features countless spots for visitors to relax among groves of evergreen trees, breathe fresh mountain air, and slide down some of nature’s most exquisitely formed natural waterslides.
LITTLE BACKBONE CREEK
Near Redding, California
There are countless songs and poems that celebrate the state of California’s staggering natural beauty. California is certainly home to more than one natural waterslide. Nature enthusiasts have a special love for Little Backbone Creek’s smooth, compact waterslide. Little Backbone Creek is located on scenic Lake Shasta and is punctuated by fiery red rocks. Visitors can reach Little Backbone Creek by hailing a boat. Once visitors reach dry land, a short hike up some moderately steep terrain leads to a small yet impressive natural waterslide. Little Backbone Creek’s relatively secluded waterslide and pristine water are conductive to a rejuvenating experience. Forget an expensive day spa in Beverly Hills. You can lift your spirits and brighten your complexion by spending the afternoon racing down a waterslide. A day spent at Little Backbone Creek is sure to fill you with warm memories that will leave you perpetually longing for the Golden State.
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico‘s El Yunque National Rainforest features two natural waterslides which are surrounded by luscious tropical foliage. The lower slide is a little bit more sedate than the thundering upper slide. Locals love Las Paylas. During the summer, there is a good chance Las Paylas will be teeming with local kids performing daredevil tricks. A trip to Las Paylas is worth journeying through the lone tropical rainforest which is maintained by the National Park Service. Prepare to see ferns, palm trees, and perhaps even a parrot or two. Las Paylas is the type of tropical paradise that many man-made water parks seek to emulate. It is absurd to confine yourself to a restrictive, soggy plastic tube when you can slide down a slick rock face that has been shaped by centuries of erosion. After a trip to Las Paylas, you will forever yearn to ditch chemically treated pools and swim in the waters of an ancient rainforest. Truly, what’s better than frolicking in a lively rainforest in the sunshine?