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Thu, May 23

Between a rock and a hard place: 5-foot wide boulder blocks path of water slide at Slide Rock State Park (with video)

The Arizona State Parks Department will remove the large rock wedged into the chute used by swimmers at the popular Slide Rock State Park, once they have figured out how to move it. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

The Arizona State Parks Department will remove the large rock wedged into the chute used by swimmers at the popular Slide Rock State Park, once they have figured out how to move it. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

The Arizona State Parks Department will remove the large rock wedged into the chute used by swimmers at the popular Slide Rock State Park.

That’s the plan, anyway; as of Monday, State Parks officials are unsure how to go about removing the massive boulder moved downriver during recent floods.

“We are still reviewing the plan to remove the rock, but it is our intent to move it,” according to Michelle Thompson, chief of communications/PIO, Arizona State Parks & Trails. “We are working through the details.”

The 5-foot-wide rock is lodged right in the middle of the 40- to 50-yard-long chute that serves as a natural water slide.

Slide Rock is visited by more than 2,000 people each day during summer months, according to park officials.

Even though Slide Rock is one of the smallest of the 35 state parks in Arizona, it is at the top in terms of visitors and revenue,

Thompson said she did not know if the project would require a Section 404 Permit (Clean Water Act) from the US Army Corps of Engineers, and a State Water Quality Certification (Section 401) permit from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

The US Army Corps of Engineers states that “Corps permits are also necessary for any work, including construction and dredging, in the Nation’s navigable waters.”

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