Discover Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Located in the heart of Oregon’s high desert, Smith Rock State Park is a renowned haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. This iconic park, situated near Terrebonne, boasts a dramatic landscape defined by towering cliffs of tuff and basalt carved over millennia by the winding Crooked River. Beyond its striking geological features, Smith Rock is celebrated worldwide as a premier destination for rock climbing, offering diverse routes catering to climbers of all skill levels.

Aside from its rock-climbing allure, Smith Rock State Park presents a network of hiking trails that wind through rugged canyons and alongside the river, showcasing panoramic vistas of the Central Oregon Cascade Range. The park’s wildlife is equally captivating, with golden eagles soaring overhead and mule deer often spotted amidst the juniper and sagebrush.

Whether you’re an avid climber seeking challenging ascents, a hiker searching for breathtaking views, or a wildlife enthusiast hoping to glimpse the diverse fauna of the high desert, Smith Rock State Park promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure every season.

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Top 3 Facts about Smith Rock State Park

01

Rock Climbing Mecca

Smith Rock is often called the birthplace of modern American sport climbing. It gained fame in the 1980s when climbers pioneered challenging routes using bolted protection systems, revolutionizing the sport.

02

Geological Marvel

The park features striking geological formations, including sheer cliffs of welded tuff and basalt rising to 550 feet above the Crooked River. These cliffs were formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity and subsequent erosion.

03

Wildlife Haven

Smith Rock is home to various wildlife, including golden eagles, prairie falcons, mule deer, and river otters. Birdwatchers particularly enjoy spotting these majestic raptors soaring above the canyon walls.

Where to Sleep

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Mason Street Getaway

555 Mason St, Saugatuck, MI 49453, USA
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,165
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$475.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Juniper Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$198.00 / day

Hemlock Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$194.14 / day

Greenash Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Dogwood Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Camping and transportation in Smith Rock State Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Smith Rock State Park

To get to Smith Rock State Park, follow these directions:

  1. From Bend, Oregon: Smith Rock State Park is approximately 27 miles northeast of Bend.
    • Take US-97 north from Bend.
    • After about 6 miles, take the exit for OR-126 toward Redmond and Sisters.
    • Continue on OR-126 for about 16 miles.
    • Turn onto NE 17th Street and follow signs to Smith Rock State Park.

Places to Stay Near Smith Rock State Park

There are several accommodation options in and around Smith Rock State Park, catering to various preferences and budgets:

  1. Camping at Smith Rock State Park:
    • The park offers tent camping and RV sites at the Bivy Campground and the main campground. These sites fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons, so reservations are recommended.
  2. Hotels and Motels:
    • Redmond Inn: A budget-friendly option in Redmond, about a 15-minute drive from Smith Rock.
    • Best Western Ponderosa Lodge: Located in Sisters, Oregon, this hotel provides comfortable lodging with amenities and is near outdoor activities.
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Best Time to Go to Smith Rock State Park

Summer

Summer

Who doesn’t love sun-soaked adventures and long, warm evenings? In summer, the park’s trails are yours for the taking from dawn past dusk, thanks to extended daylight hours. But it gets toasty, with temperatures often climbing to the 80s or higher.

  • Weather Perks: Longer days to explore
  • Going for a hike? Bring plenty of water; it’s warm, with averages in the high 80s
Winter

Winter

Are you eager for some quiet or maybe a dash of frosty sport? Winter sees fewer visitors and can offer serenity at the park, although snow might limit access. You’ll want to bundle up; temperatures can drop to 20°F, but don’t let the chill dissuade you from the park’s tranquil beauty.

  • Cool Factor: Solitude reigns supreme
  • Bundle Up: Temps can be as low as 20°F
Spring

Spring

Do you thrive in mild weather and love nature at its most vibrant? Spring might be your perfect time to visit! With average temperatures of 40° to 60°F, you’re set for comfortable hikes amidst bloomings. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Temperatures: 40° – 60°F
  • Highlight: Wildflowers in full splendor
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Fall

Envision a palette of fiery hues and cooler hikes. That’s fall at Smith Rock State Park. It’s less crowded, and with averages in a cozy range of 50° to 70°F, the climate is just right for enjoying the outdoors without breaking a sweat.

  • Fall Phenomenon: A canvas of fall colors
  • Climate Info: Average temps between 50° and 70°F

Must-See Attractions

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Smith Rock Overlook

Located near the main parking area, this viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of the park’s iconic rock formations and the Crooked River winding through the canyon below.

Misery Ridge Trail

It is a challenging but rewarding hike that ascends to the summit of Smith Rock, providing breathtaking views of Monkey Face rock formation and the surrounding Cascade Mountains.

Monkey Face

One of the most famous climbing routes in the park, this rock formation resembles a monkey’s face and is a sight to behold whether you’re climbing it or admiring it from below.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Smith Rock State Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Before you go, check the park’s website for current information on trail conditions, weather forecasts, and any alerts or closures. This will help you prepare accordingly and ensure a smooth visit.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Lots of Water

Central Oregon’s high desert climate can be hot and dry, so bring enough water for your hike or climb. Hydration packs or water bottles are essential, especially on longer trails.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Keep a respectful distance from wildlife and refrain from feeding or approaching animals. Enjoy observing them from a distance to minimize disturbance to their natural habitat.

Stay Informed

Stay on Designated Trails

Protect the fragile desert ecosystem by staying on marked trails and avoiding shortcutting or creating new paths. This helps prevent erosion and preserves the natural landscape.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock is renowned for its towering cliffs of tuff and basalt, world-class rock climbing opportunities, scenic hiking trails, and diverse wildlife.

Yes, Smith Rock State Park offers both tent camping and RV camping options. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons.

Yes, the park features several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels. The Misery Ridge Trail is popular for its panoramic views, while others explore the canyon and riverbanks.

Swimming and fishing are allowed in the Crooked River within the park. Anglers must have an Oregon fishing license, and swimming is at your own risk as there are no designated swimming areas.

The best times to visit are spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when temperatures are mild and wildflowers bloom. Summers can be hot, while winters may bring snow and colder temperatures.

Yes, there are various lodging options including hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds in nearby towns like Terrebonne, Redmond, and Sisters. There are also dining options available in these towns for visitors.

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