Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park. Climb that Rock!
Any time we are traveling through Central Oregon on Hwy 97, we take the time to go to Smith Rock State Park, one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. Smith Rock is made of volcanic ash and rises out of the high desert like spires of a cathedral.
As the birthplace of American sport climbing, climbers are attracted from all over the world to the thousands of climbing routes which includes more than 1000 bolted routes. Cliffs of tuff and basalt are ideal for rock climbing of all difficulty levels. There is sport climbing, traditional climbing and bouldering. Even as non-climbers, we enjoy watching the climbers scale these vertical rocks at scenic Smith Rock State Park.
In addition to the world-famous rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is host to many miles of hiking trails with opportunities to spot golden eagles, prairie falcons, river otters and beaver. You can spend just 30 minutes walking along enjoying the view from above the deep river canyon and the surrounding peaks of Oregon’s Cascade Range or head down and walk along the Crooked River below. You can also make full days of hiking a loop of trail systems that extend outside the park to the Forest Service and BLM land.
The State Park features a walk-in bivouac campground, access to trails, restrooms and shower facilities. There is also a generous picnic area with shaded trees, tables and plenty of lawn for spreading out a blanket or letting the kids run wild. The picnic and campground sit on top of the rim rock which provides spectacular views of Smith Rock and the river below. For more information Smith Rock State Park facilities, check Oregon State Parks
Home to 300 days of sun a year, Smith Rock is located in an outdoor adventurer’s playground. Golfing, caving, river rafting on the Deschutes River and skiing Mt. Bachelor are all close by. Mountain bikers can hit Phil’s Trail, while cyclists can take their pick of five scenic bikeways including Madras Mountain Views and Sisters to Smith Rock State Park.
To get to Smith Rock State Park go north about 6 miles on Hwy 97 from Redmond to the town of Terrebone. Turn right on Smith Rock Drive East. In less than two miles turn left onto NE 17th Street. At the end, turn right onto Wilcox Avenue. In ½ mile turn left onto NE Crooked River drive. It’s pretty easy to find and here’s a map.
If you’re interested in technical climbing information, check out Mountain Project – Smith Rock.