Explore Smith Rock State Park in Oregon

Smith Rock is located in Central Oregon just outside of Terrebonne and nestled in Smith Rock State Park. It has been a climbing mecca for some and lately it has become a trail runners dream. Hikers, mountain bikers and birders are also coming in mass droves. But you can’t blame anyone, it is a stunning place to come to get away, to be in nature and to challenge yourself.

Explore Smith Rock

This state park is a day use only area and so make sure to get there early for a parking spot. You will need an Oregon State Parks pass or it is $5 for the day per car. They recently added a new parking lot with a couple RV spots, but beware, if you get there at 10am, you may have to turn around. Hikers, trail runners and climbers are there at the early hours for the day.

Depending on the time of year, make sure to check closures for hiking and climbing due to Bald Eagle nesting.

To get to the start of the trails or places to climb, it isn’t easy. A steep downhill (uphill on the way back) to get to the main entrance of all the trail. Cross the bridge and choose which way you want to go. We go here to hike and Misery Ridge is the best trail for views and a challenge. Once you cross the bridge you can either go straight up first…

Or you can start with a leisurely, yet beautiful hike along the river.

You can continue on this trail to make your total hike 6-10 miles, but we chose to get to Misery Ridge before too many were up at the top. You can’t miss the turn.

This is where the the climb starts and where the switchbacks start. Don’t worry there are not too many and each one provides a breaking spot. Whether you are coming up or down it is a challenge. Smith Rock sits at 3,000′, so take it slow, drink some water and keep going! Sturdy shoes are recommended, especially in the winter. It goes for snowy and icy to sandy and dusty.

The climb is around 800′ in just under a mile but it is worth every step for the views. Even on a cloudy day, you will see snow capped mountains, beautiful homes and farmland for miles.

If you are curious about the climbing here, it is said that it where sport climbing was born and still has some of the best sport climbing in the United States. We see hundreds of climbers each time we are there. Whether they are just learning or attempting to climb monkey face it is fun watching them.

With a list of things to do here, make sure to experience one of them if you are in the area!

Want more hikes in the area, check out our: Hiking for Everyone in Bend

Then follow along for more Hiking inspiration!


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