Known for its stunning geological formations, including towering cliffs and jagged spires that rise above the Crooked River, just 30 minutes from Bend, Smith Rock State Park is a standout public recreational space in Oregon.
Spread across 652-acres, it is considered one of the premier rock climbing destinations in America, drawing in professional climbers from several countries across the world to its challenging routes.
In addition to rock climbing, the park offers a variety of recreational opportunities for visitors, including hiking and mountain biking. Most notably, it has over 15 miles of trails that traverse its unique landscapes and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Fishing, picnicking and bird watching are other popular activities at this Oregon state park. There is also a modern campground onsite with electrical and water hookups for tents and RVs, for those who want to stay for a few nights.
If you plan on visiting Smith Rock State Park you will be able to enjoy a number of exciting recreational activities during your time there.
Showcased below is a quick overview of some of the main things you can see and do at the park.
Rock climbing at Smith Rock State Park
If you love rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is one of the best destinations in the country in which to partake in this activity.
The park’s stunning geological formations provide climbing opportunities for enthusiasts of all skill levels. If you would like to climb, however, you will need to pay a day-use fee and get a permit for overnight camping.
Before climbing at the park, visitors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with its climbing rules and regulations.
If you are new to climbing or do not have your own equipment, you should consider taking a guided climb or attend a climbing clinic, as the park’s challenging routes can be dangerous for those who are inexperienced.
Fishing at Smith Rock State Park
With the park being located along the Crooked River it offers a variety of fishing opportunities for visitors.
The river is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout, brook trout, and mountain whitefish, and is popular with both recreational and fly fishing enthusiasts.
If you would like to fish at the park you will need to procure a valid Oregon fishing license.
Guests are asked to respect other visitors, fish only in designated areas, and to properly dispose of fishing line and other fishing-related waste.
Hiking at Smith Rock State Park
As well as rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is a popular hiking destination, offering a variety of trails that wind past its soaring cliffs and through its beautiful river valleys.
The park’s trails range from easy, interpretive walks to challenging, multi-mile hikes that offer jaw-dropping views of the park’s geological formations and surrounding landscape.
Some of the most popular hikes at the park are the Canyon Trail, which offers a scenic walk along the Crooked River and the base of the park’s towering cliffs, and the Misery Ridge Trail, which takes the form of a strenuous hike to the summit of one of the park’s cliffs which convey incredible panoramic views.
Whilst hiking, you should be prepared for a variety of weather conditions and bring plenty of water, sun protection, and any necessary supplies to facilitate a safe and enjoyable experience.
Mountain Biking at Smith Rock State Park
If you own a mountain bike you will want to bring it to the park with you as there are several trails within the park that you will be able to ride it on.
Ranging from easy, beginner-friendly routes to challenging, technical tracks that test the skills of experienced riders, all of these trails showcase some aspect of the park’s unique terrain.
Like with rock climbing, if you want to mountain bike at the park you will need to pay a day-use fee.
Picnicking at Smith Rock State Park
Throughout the park you will find several scenic picnic areas where you can enjoy an al fresco meal.
Visitors are encouraged to bring their own food and drinks, as well as any necessary supplies such as plates, utensils, and coolers. The park also has several grills available for use, but visitors should bring their own charcoal.
If you do enjoy a picnic, please remember the consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited anywhere in the park.
Smith Rock State Park allows pets in the park, although it does impose a number of restrictions on their presence.
One of them involves dogs not being allowed on trails, other than the designated dog loop trail. Another is that they must at all times be well behaved and restrained on a handheld leash.
If you intend to bring your four legged friend with you to the park you should consider contacting the park’s main office for a comprehensive overview of their pet policy.
The park offers plenty of camping opportunities for visitors looking to spend a night or more there.
Overall, there are 31 standard campsites within its campground. Each of which has electrical and water hookups.
Supporting them are also 4 group sites that can accommodate up to 20 people each.
While the campground is open year-round, some campsites may be closed during the winter months. So it is worth making a reservation as far in advance of your visit as you can, particularly in the summer months when the campground is often full.
To help ensure a safe and comfortable camping experience, visitors are encouraged to bring appropriate camping gear, including a tent, sleeping bag, and food and water supplies.
Smith Rock State Park
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Smith Rock State Park:
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