Smith Rock State Park: 15 Facts You Should Know!

Smith Rock State Park is a popular site for those looking for adventure, wildlife, and heritage. It’s no surprise that among the most renowned state parks in the United States have world-class uphill climbs, magnificent beauty, a rich history, and diverse species.

  • Smith Rock State Park is a popular place for rock climbers as it has difficult terrain. It has about 2,000 climbing routes, including the well-known “Monkey Face” formation, a favorite climbing destination.
  • Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts reaches the area because of its geological formations of cliffs and deep rocks. The Crooked River, which flows through the park, also offers scenic vistas and recreational possibilities.
  • Smith Rock State Park has a rich history and is regarded holy territory by the indigenous inhabitants of the region. The park was also an important stop for pioneers on the Oregon Trail.

History and Facts

  • Smith Rock State Park was founded in 1958 as one of Oregon’s original state parks in central Oregon, USA.
  • The park’s most noticeable feature is Smith Rock, a 600-foot-tall rock structure constructed of welded tuff, a kind of volcanic rock. It is a popular climbing and hiking location.
  • The park has a rich human habitation history that dates back approximately 10,000 years, with traces of Native American towns and trading routes. The land was utilized as a cattle farm and farmstead in the 1800s.
  • Smith Rock became a hotspot for bouldering pioneers like Alan Watts and Royal Robbins in the 1930s and 1940s, who constructed some of the park’s original climbing routes.


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  • Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon is characterized by towering welded tuff cliffs, a volcanic rock created from ash deposits and pumice. 
  • The Crooked River has eroded the surrounding rock strata, creating deep canyons and gorges that show the area’s complicated geological history. 
  • The rocks were exposed to extreme heat and pressure, which produced an extensive variety of elements and geological characteristics.

Weather Conditions

  • Winters at Smith Rock State Park are mild, with an average temperature of 25-45°F 
  • Summer temperatures can range from 80 – 90°F.
  • To minimize exhaustion and sunburn, travelers should plan ahead of time and carry lots of water and sunblock. The weather is dry all year, increasing the risk of wildfires.

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Flora & Fauna


  • Western juniper
  • Sagebrush
  • Ponderosa pine
  • Douglas fir
  • Indian paintbrush
  • Lupine
  • Bitterbrush
  • Oregon grape
  • Serviceberry
  • Snowbrush


  • Golden eagles
  • Prairie falcons
  • Red-tailed hawks
  • American kestrels
  • California quails
  • Mule deer
  • Coyotes
  • Bobcats
  • River otters
  • Western pond turtles


Smith Rock State Park is a lovely natural location in central Oregon that provides tourists a variety of outdoor activities. Smith Rock State Park offers the following activities:

  • Hiking: The park has nearly 12 miles of trails spanning from basic to challenging. The Summit Path leads to the top of the mountain of Smith Rock, where you may take in incredible views of the park and its surroundings.
Canyon Trail
Easy – 1.5 milesThis 1.5-mile trail leads from the welcome center to the Rope-de-Dope climbing area. Climbers frequent Asterisk Pass and the Phoenix Buttress, two of the highlights.
Rim Rock Trail
ModerateA half-mile stroll through the park with a climbing wall, picnic areas, and benches..
Misery Ridge ModerateMisery Ridge is a popular spot in Smith Rock State Park, offering stunning views from its 3,360-foot summit.s.
Summit LoopModerateHike 7.3 mile loop to see golden eagles nesting.
  • Mountain Biking: Smith Rock is an excellent location for mountain biking, with at least 15 miles of possible routes and adjacent areas to explore. It has a great deal for mountain bikers of all abilities, with dedicated tracks and surrounding locations to explore.
  • Rock climbing: Smith Rock State Park is a popular rock climbing destination, with numerous sites where it is authorized.  Smith Rock State Park is the place to go if you enjoy rock climbing and picturesque vistas.
  • Fishing: Smith Rock State Park is an excellent area for fishing, with lots of spots along the “Crooked River” to enjoy the park’s scenery and tranquility.
  • Kayak the Crooked River: Kayaking is a fantastic pastime in Smith Rock State Park. Visitors may begin at the eastern end and proceed downriver around the park.
  •  Visitors aren’t required to be concerned about depth because the water is shallow.
  • Sunset & Sunrise Watching: The park in eastern Oregon offers spectacular sunset and dawn views and is a favorite camping location. The sunset hour is ideal for taking in the breathtaking views from behind Smith Rock.
  • Slackline: Tight rope walks are provided at least one or more locations throughout the park.
  • Visit: Slackline or Highline at Smith Rock State Park — | Smith Rock State Park Guide | Smith Rock State Park Oregon
  • Horse Riding: The Canyon, River, Wolf Tree, and Homestead routes are open to horses. 
  • The Crooked River serves as a background, and views of the park may be found on the Burma Road Trail. 
  • The paths are best explored early in the morning since they must yield to horses, although the tight pathways can be difficult.
  • Camping: Smith Rock State Park’s first-come, first-served lodging is stroll and tent-only in the Bivy, and is offered from mid-May to mid-November. 
  • The parking lot has a twenty-foot car limit, and there are restrooms on the site. It is completely forbidden to camp in RVs or sleep in automobiles.


Smith Rock State Park is a popular hiking, rock climbing, and wildlife enthusiast destination, although there are no restaurants or food sellers within the park. Nonetheless, there are a few dining alternatives nearby:

  • Redpoint Climber’s Supply: Located just outside the park’s entrance, this climbing gear store also provides coffee, snacks, and sandwiches.
  • Terrebonne Depot: Situated in Terrebonne, sells burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pizza with a variety of  vegetarian nad vegan options.
  • Blondie’s Pizza: This Redmond pizzeria, about a driving distance from Smith Rock, has a range of pizza and another Italian cuisine.
  • Cascade Lakes Brewing Company: This Redmond brewery also sells pub-style meals and snacks.
  • Food stores: In the surrounding towns of Redmond and Sisters, you may purchase food and snacks to carry with you into the park.

Pack snacks and water for your visit to Smith Rock State Park, as well as any meals you may require if you want to spend the entire day there.


Visitors to the park can pick from several hotel alternatives, including

  • Camping: There are 62 tent sites and 25 RV sites in the park. The campsites are along the Crooked River and provide beautiful views of the park.
  • Yurts: There are six yurts available for rent at the park. These circular buildings provide warmth, power, and furnishings, making them a more pleasant alternative to traditional camping.
  • Cabins: There are five cabins available for rent at the park. Electricity, warmth, and mattresses are provided in these modest cottages.
  • Bivy sites: The park includes five bivy sites for people wishing for a more basic camping experience. These locations are located in the park’s more isolated sections and provide a true wilderness experience.
  • Nearby places based on closeness and ratings: 
  1. SCP Redmond Hotel
  2.  Sleep Inn & Suites
  3.  Sleep Inn & Suites
  4. Juniper Preserve


Available at the park areas:

  • Hiking Trails: There are various hiking paths in the park, having different levels from moderate to hard with spectacular views of the park’s rock formations, including Monkey Face.
  • Smith Rock is known for its world-class rock climbing options, featuring over 1,800 climbing routes for climbers of all ability levels. For people who wish to learn how to climb, there are designated climbing locations and many guiding services.
  • The park contains two campsites that are available all year. The Bivouac Campsite is a walk-in site, whereas the Crooked River Campground accommodates RVs and tents.
  • Picnic Areas: Around the park, there are various picnic spots with tables and grills. These locations are ideal for a family outing or a picnic lunch following a day of trekking.
  • Visitor Center: Visit the park’s historical center to learn about geology, vegetation, animals, and history. Visitors may also buy literature, maps, and other park-related things.
  • Restrooms: Restrooms are provided throughout the park, including at the parking areas and the campgrounds.
  • Fishing: Rainbow trout and whitefish can be caught in the Crooked River of the park. Oregon fishing license is compulsory for fishing

Best Time to Visit

  • Smith Rock State Park is best visited in the spring or fall when the weather is pleasant to enjoy outdoor activities. To avoid crowds and get the greatest views, visit during the week instead of on weekends. 
MonthBest Time to VisitProsCons
JanuaryOff-seasonQuiet park, less crowded trails, snow-covered landscapesCold temperatures, some trails may be icy or closed
FebruaryOff-seasonQuiet park, less crowded trails, snow-covered landscapesCold temperatures, some trails may be icy or closed
MarchSpringMild temperatures, blooming wildflowers, fewer crowdsSome trails may be muddy or closed due to spring runoff
AprilSpringMild temperatures, blooming wildflowers, fewer crowdsSome trails may be muddy or closed due to spring runoff
MaySpring/Early SummerMild temperatures, wildflowers in bloom, waterfalls flowingCrowds begin to increase, some trails may be crowded or closed
JuneSummerWarm temperatures, long days for hiking, abundant wildlifeCrowds begin to peak, some trails may be crowded or closed
JulySummerWarm temperatures, long days for hiking, abundant wildlifeCrowds can be overwhelming, parking lots can fill up quickly
AugustSummerWarm temperatures, long days for hiking, abundant wildlifeCrowds can be overwhelming, parking lots can fill up quickly
SeptemberFall/ Late SummerMild temperatures, fall foliage, fewer crowdsSome trails may be closed due to wildfires, smoke can be a concern


These are some sites to view while visiting Slide Rock State Park:

  • Climb Misery Ridge to see the Monkey Face Rock Formation: Misery Hill is a difficult short walk with switchbacks on both the east and west sides.
  •  On the western side, there is an incredible piece of rock known as Monkey Face Rock Formation, through which people have climbed. 
  • The western side of the path also offers spectacular views of Mount Hood and other distant mountains.
  • Smith Rock Visitor Center: 
  • Picnic Areas: Around the park, there are various picnic spots with tables, grills, and breathtaking views.
  • Wildlife viewing: Mule deer, river otters, and golden eagles may all be seen in Smith Rock State Park.
  • Sunset Viewpoint: The park’s sunset viewpoint provides panoramic views of the park’s rock formations and neighboring mountains.
  • Trailhead Coffee Roasters: it is a local coffee-selling shop that provides the best coffee in the town.
  • Terrebonne Depot: This antique railroad depot has been transformed into a restaurant that serves delectable cuisine.


The steps are as follows:

  1. Visit the official Oregon State Parks website.
  2. Enter “Smith Rock State Park” in the homepage’s search box and choose it from the list of results that appears.
  3. Choose your preferred available options. Choose the “Search” option.
  4. A list of available campsites and their prices will be displayed. Click on the “Book” button for the campground you want to reserve.
  5. Choose a payment method then enter your payment details.
  6. Double – Check your reservation information and click on the “Complete Reservation”.
  7. You will get an email confirming your reservation information.

Open – 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Fess Charges-

  • Tent site: $26 per night
  • RV site with electric hookup: $34 per night
  • Deluxe cabin: $125 per night

Rules for Pets

  • Pets are permitted in approved in some specific areas of the park.

Specific Rule or Restriction

These are some ground rules to follow when exploring State Park:

  • At the park, glass containers are permitted.
  • Pets are not authorized in the slide rock or rill regions, although they are acceptable on a lead in other areas of the park.
  • Smoking is permitted only in defined places.
  • It is not permitted to jump or dive from rocks or cliffs.
  • The park does not allow amplified music or sound systems.
  • Guests are asked to bag their rubbish and dispose of it in designated bins.
  • Visitors are advised to wear suitable footwear to avoid sliding on the granite.

By following these regulations, you can help maintain the park’s natural features for coming generations while also ensuring a safe and pleasurable visit for all.

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