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Smith Rock State Park

  • Smith Rock State Park

Overview

  • Karla Gadea

The Smith Rock State park covers over 650 acres and hovers around 3000 feet in elevation. It is located in central Oregon. The major rock faces are welded tuff or compressed volcanic ash. Hikers, climbers, trail runners, horseback riders and mountain bikers all flock here. And look up high–slackliners stretch their webbing across wall ridges to walk above people and birds alike. Come year-round, but know that summer temperatures can reach 100+ degrees. In the dead of winter, the thermometer stays close to the freezing mark during the day. Spring and fall are the best months to avoid the crowds and beat the heat of the summer. Sunny winter days aren’t bad either. Hiking trails offer spectacular views of the surrounding area. You can spend from just 30 minutes walking along the river or hike the full day over ridges and into canyons.

Chute Trail: While only 500 feet, the steep scree slope of the Chute Trail can be a challenge for the uninitiated entering into the canyon of Smith Rock State Park.

Summit Loop: Steep down, easy flat, more difficult climb up, steep downhill, flat return. A 7.3-mile round trip hike. Down the steep scree Chute Trail, cross the bridge, left on the River Trail, straight and up on the switch-backed Summit Trail and down the steep scree Burma Road Trail, back on the flat Wolf Tree Trail.

Misery Ridge loop(Beginner): Steep scree down, easy flat, then more difficult climb up and steep downhill scree. Down the steep scree Chute Trail, cross the bridge, left on the flat River Trail, up the steeper Mesa Verde Trail and down the steep scree Misery Ridge Trail. Total of 3.7 miles.

Climb Smith Rock(Beginner): Known as the birthplace of U.S. sports climbing in 1986, Smith Rock State Park wasn’t the easiest place for it to happen. The volcanic welded tuff of the area, for the most part, is soft and crumbly. A few choice walls of perfect stone make for some of the best routes in the country to rock climb.

Mountain Bike(Intermediate): Mountain biking on trails at the Smith Rock is both awe-inspiring and memorable. Connect to ones on adjacent BLM land and you’ve just added miles to your exploration. Surfaces are hard packed clay with loose rocks, scree, and sometimes a little sand.
Horseback Riding(Beginner): Areas of the Canyon, River, Wolf Tree and Homestead trails where horses are permitted cover a large section of the park. Towering rock spires provide the backdrop to the Crooked River as it carves its way through the canyons. Early morning is best to set out on the trails in the park as you’ll need to share them with trail runners, hikers with dogs, and mountain bikers too.

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ACTIVITY:

Hiking, Trails, Horseback Riding, Rock Climbing, Trail Running, Biking

Difficulty:

Beginner, Intermediate

SEASON:

Spring, Fall

How to Get There

To get to Smith Rock from the closest airport, Portland International Airport, get on I-205 S from NE Airport Way, follow US-26 E and US-97 S to Austin Rd/NW Eby Ave in Deschutes County, and continue on Austin Rd. Take Lambert Rd/NE Wilcox Ave to NE Crooked River Dr. You'll see signs for Smith Rock from the highway and, you'll see Smith Rock itself from the highway as well. Follow the signs and head east from Terreborne for just a few miles and you'll have arrived! The drive is about 3 hours southeast of the airport.
How long should I stay there? 1-2 days

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