Covering 650 acres of land Smith Rock State Park offers remarkable landscapes and a plethora of fun activities to follow. At 3000 feet of elevation, this park is not shy of outstanding views, with 7 miles of trails and climbing paths, Smith Rock is a popular spot among hikers, cyclists, climbers, and wildlife watchers.
Surrounded by tall buttes and cliffs, and with miles of bolted routes, readily available for rock climbers to use, Smith Rock State Park has become one of the leading rock climbing destinations. Similarly, hikers and cyclists of all abilities explore the area through multiple hiking trails. Visitors can follow shorter and easier hiking trails such as the 4.2-mile in and out picturesque River Tra il and Rim Rock Trail with views of the mountains in the background. Similarly, the Homestead Trail coming out of the canyon Smith Rock Park offers a spectacle especially as the area is surrounded by buttes and hills. The landscape makes it attractive to landscape photographers too. For more physically trained hikers trails such as the 6-mile Summit Trail may pose more of a challenge.
The area is also notorious among birdwatchers with golden eagles and falcons having been spotted in the vicinity, in fact, some areas are actually closed for climbing during certain seasons to protect these species, check the website for the latest information.
Smith Rock State Park knows its origin to 30 million years ago, when volcanic eruptions resulted in a lot of built-up ash, debris, and hardened lava, creating the largest rock formation on the west. The Crooked River made its way through the rocks to create the magnificent landscape we know today. The land was also inhabited by native Americans who used the area to find food. The area of the Smith Rock State Park was donated and purchased between 1960 and 1975. There are debates on the origin of the name and whether the area was named after John Smith Linn a country Lawman or a Private Volk Smith, who died in the area during battle.
The beauty of the park can be appreciated all year round, however, nature is at its finest in spring and fall, the temperatures can get quite high so carry water to stay hydrated. The park is open 7 am to 7 pm at $8 for bikers and hikers. It is also possible to camp at Smith Rock, by collecting a camping permit for $8 per person, and there is also space for RVs. The sites are equipped with restrooms and showers and are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Smith Rock State Park does not disappoint, from mesmerizing scenery to bolted climbing routes, trails, and wildlife. This park offers something for everyone to enjoy. It’s no wonder that more than 800,000 visitors visit the park each year.