Mountain Creek Waterpark Review: What to Bring, Where to Eat, What to Do

Monday, August 16, 2021
Summer ain't over yet, no matter what the stores tell you! Put away thoughts of 'back to school,' and think about what day trips you can take for the rest of your summer! Mountain Creek Waterpark in nearby Vernon, New Jersey, was an affordable, fun-filled day for our family. But don't go until you read my review and tips for visiting! No time? Scroll straight to the bottom to read my important advice and suggestions for visiting, and watch a 2 minute walkthrough video of our day. 


Disclosure: Mountain Creek Waterpark provided us with complimentary tickets and a cabana in order to facilitate this review, but that in no way influenced my opinion. I tell it like it is, people!

I always try to keep my posts updated and relevant, so be sure to Pin this post for future reference. And don't forget to follow me on Pinterest, too!


What is Mountain Creek Waterpark?

Mountain Creek Waterpark is an outdoor summer waterpark featuring water rides, slides, a wave pool, sprayground and so much more. They're just about an hour from New York City. Mountain Creek Waterpark is an alpine environment, which means it's in very natural terrain. The main paths are asphalt but there are many paths that feel like you're actually hiking- walking over rocks and gravel to get to each slide or attraction, since it's set within the mountain. It's one of the most unique and beautiful waterparks we have ever been to. **Please see my tips and suggestions at the bottom of this post about navigating the terrain in Mountain Creek and what to expect.


Where is Mountain Creek Waterpark?

Mountain Creek Waterpark is located in beautiful Vernon, New Jersey - and I mean beautiful. I have lived in New Jersey my whole life, and there are so many pretty areas of our state. But Sussex county has retained much of its natural beauty even from when I was a child- with rolling green hills and mountains for miles. It's definitely a beautiful day trip!


How Much Does it Cost for Parking at Mountain Creek Waterpark?

Parking (as of the publication date of this entry) is $10 for general and $20 for preferred "cobblestone" parking. At first I didn't see the benefit in the preferred parking but I definitely understood after visiting- there is a considerable amount of walking (to and from the park, as well as within the park itself) and after coming out of the park, we were completely exhausted. If you have a large family or little ones in tow, the extra ten dollars to park closer to the entrance is worth it. 

the view from the parking area as you walk towards Mountain Creek Waterpark

What Can I Do and See at Mountain Creek Waterpark?

There are over 15 rides and attractions at Mountain Creek Waterpark, each varying in intensity level. Don't want to ride anything? No sweat! There's a wave pool or sprayground to hang out in, too. You can see all of Mountain Creek Waterpark's rides and attractions here. I personally think Mountain Creek is most famous for its Canyon Cliff Jump. The area where people jump from is beautiful- it looks like a tropical island. There are so many picturesque spots in the park, with waterfalls, shady paths and clear blue waters. My husband remarked, "wow, you really can just find your own little corner of the mountain here," meaning that there were spots along the way to swim, sit by the water's edge, watch the jumpers, etc. 




*this photo courtesy of Mountain Creek ('cause I was too chicken to ride these! lol)

What Ages is Mountain Creek Waterpark Best For?

Mountain Creek Waterpark is open to all ages. There is a sprayground, fishing village (like a mini water playground), wave pool, and little lazy river for guests who are below 48 inches. But truthfully, I think the park is best suited for tweens, teens and up. That's not to say you can't bring younger kids, I just feel like the tweens and teens would love the thrill/excitement of some of the water rides, more-so than the younger crowd. Some of the attractions can be intense, like the H2Oh!-No, Zero G, Bombs Away or Canyon Cliff Jump. But even if you do not attempt some of these attractions, it's actually still fun to watch others do it (we really enjoyed watching the cliff jumpers). 


Are Cabanas Worth it at Mountain Creek Waterpark?

Cabanas need to be reserved online in advance, and in my personal opinion, they are well worth the cost. Each cabana comes with a small sofa/seating area, two lounge chairs, a small refrigerator with bottled water, and a locker. The back and front of the cabanas can be zippered open/closed to allow a breeze in. Cabanas also come with a waitstaff to serve food/drinks (food/drinks are an extra cost- this is not included with the cabana). The cabanas are supposed to fit 8 people but I would say they fit 6 comfortably. You can fit 8 but it would be a bit crowded. Fruit is also supposed to come with your cabana but we did not receive any when we visited. 

When you reserve online it will ask you if you want a cabana on the right or left side of the wave pool. The right side has more cabanas with more direct sunlight. The left side was more secluded with only about 5 cabanas and a little more shade. You can not enter the wave pool directly from either cabana side- you still need to walk around to the main wave pool entrance at the front, where the attendant is (not a far walk, but worth mentioning so you don't think you have instant access).

I wish the cabanas came with a small table. That was one thing missing when we visited, which would have been great- even something small to put your food/drinks on (we used the top of the mini fridge for some items). Alcoholic beverages like beer, hard seltzer and frozen mixed drinks were also available. 

The locker was a huge plus because we could put all of our things safely inside and take the key with us when we ventured out into the park. 


a view from the wave pool of the cabanas (right side)

What Can I Eat at Mountain Creek Waterpark?

No outside food is permitted in the park, but Mountain Creek Waterpark has several dining options to choose from, including Sugar Shack (ice cream and treats), a BBQ restaurant, food stands/carts, and waitstaff in the cabanas who bring food/drinks directly to you. 


Are There Places to Stay Near Mountain Creek Waterpark?

The Appalachian sits at the base of Mountain Creek Waterpark. Although we did not stay during our visit, it looked beautiful. They offer special midweek rates sometimes, too, so be sure to check them out!


Check Out Our Video!

Watch my two minute walkthrough video of our day at Mountain Creek Waterpark!


Jersey Momma Tips and Suggestions for Visiting Mountain Creek Waterpark

Please read these tips and suggestions before visiting Mountain Creek Waterpark. I speak from experience and I want you to enjoy your visit, too!

-Mountain Creek Waterpark is an alpine environment, and they ain't kidding! Many of the reviews online state that there's a lot of walking at Mountain Creek Waterpark, but that's actually an understatement. Not only is there a lot of walking, but there is a lot of uphill walking on asphalt. On top of that, many of the attractions are literally within the mountain, so there are rocky terrains to navigate, as well as forest paths and narrow wooden bridges. Wearing good walking shoes or water shoes is a must. 

-In order to get from attraction to attraction, you need to walk across asphalt paths. There are some grassy areas, too, but the majority of walking is on asphalt. In the summertime, barefoot, this can be unbearable as well as dangerous, so be sure to have flip flops or something to protect your feet. And remember, that means you have to walk to the ride or attraction, leave your sandals/flip flops (because you can't wear them on the ride) and retrieve them at the end of the ride (so perhaps bringing your designer Jimmy Choos wouldn't be the best choice here). Most rides had shoe racks or an area for your shoes (at the wave pool, guests just left their shoes along the fence). 

-Currently, the park is open 11am-5pm. We visited on a weekday in August, so crowds were not too bad. It was an EXTREMELY hot day, so crowds definitely picked up after 12pm (but even then, the park is spread out enough so that it wasn't unbearable and lines weren't awful). I suggest arriving before noon if you want to avoid bigger crowds. 

-lifeguards were extremely attentive when we visited the park. I was impressed by how many there were and how watchful they seemed to be over their areas.

-the water temperature in the wave pool as well as most rides and attractions was a bit on the "refreshing" side! It was swelteringly hot when we visited, so I didn't mind the cool mountain water, but my husband and son found it to be a bit brisk. Don't expect heated 88 degree waters here! 

-not all rides were open when we visited. I think you run this risk with any theme park or waterpark- you just never know if rides will be down for maintenance or other issues. Currently at Mountain Creek, the Alpine Rush is closed as well as High Anxiety (which was damaged by fire before the park opened this summer). 

-If you can afford a cabana (and honestly, it fits 8 people, so sharing the cost is feasible), go for it! Not only will this give you a great place to put all of your belongings (there's a locker inside), it's also a good place to relax in the shade, with food service that comes right to you! This park makes you tired, trust me. You need a "base camp," for sure. Snack stands and restrooms are also very close to the cabanas (and the wave pool, too).

-in case you missed my paragraph above, the cabanas are available on the left and right sides of the wave pool (you need to reserve them online before you arrive). There are less cabanas on the left side, (and they seemed to have more shade). There are more cabanas on the right side, and they were in more direct sunlight. 

-If you can't afford a cabana, no worries. There are some pretty spots in the shade to the left of the main entrance (behind the BBQ restaurant).  Go up the hill and you'll find tables/chairs, loungers and other places to chill. 

-If you forget your water shoes or sandals (or you didn't listen to The Jersey Momma!!) know that you can purchase them in the small souvenir shop that sits at the base of the wave pool (as well as sunscreen, cover-ups, bathing suits and more).  

-check ride height requirements before you visit so you know which ones are best for your kids. 

-towels are not provided at Mountain Creek Waterpark, not even in the cabanas. On a super hot day you might not need a towel at all, especially if you're walking between attractions. I brought one towel for each family member, but we had a cabana to keep our items in. You're not going to want to carry towels around here!

-lockers are available to rent on a first come/first served basis. You really can't carry much here if you plan on riding the water rides, so be prepared to store items in a locker. 

-changing areas are located within the restroom building. Women's changing area consisted of stalls with curtains, in a separate section from the toilets and sinks.

-only credit cards are accepted throughout the park, and tickets must be ordered online in advance.

-yes, this is the location where that famous old New Jersey park used to be and no, it's not the same. So many people asked me, "is it dangerous? Did you get hurt?" and although there are things to look out for in the park like I mentioned (the alpine terrain, the more adventurous attractions like the cliff jumping, etc), this is not the extreme park that many New Jerseyans remember from their childhood. You will still feel shades of what it used to be as you walk through the park, and many older folk (like myself!) will appreciate the nostalgia. I thought it would be a disservice not to mention that here, since so many people are so hush-hush about it. 

-check Mountain Creek Waterpark's FAQ page for any other questions you may have!


Stay Connected

Stay connected with Mountain Creek Waterpark by following their social channels and visiting their website for the most up to date information. You can also follow their hashtag on social media, #MCWaterpark and #MountainCreekNJ

Mountain Creek Waterpark 
200 Route 94
Vernon, NJ 07462 
(973) 827-2000













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