Smith Rock State Park

On Tuesday, July 11th, we decided to take a little day trip to Smith Rock State Park, north of Redmond, Oregon, as we heard that people liked to hang out there….

….and we mean that quite literally! 😃   And while this outcropping is internationally known for its tremendous rock climbing opportunities, we also wanted to see the geology and the hiking trails available to those of us who prefer to keep our feet on terra firma. In addition we wanted to check out the volunteer opportunities available, as our friend Lisa and her late husband Hugh had worked at the visitor center a while back.

This volcanic gem sits on the northwest rim of the Crooked River Caldera….a recently discovered supervolcano that last erupted 29 million years ago and is considered extinct.  For reference, Prineville sits smack dab in the middle of that caldera, 19 miles south east of Smith Rock….so we are talking a very large crater.  The makeup of Smith Rock is volcanic tuff and basalt, and the geologic features are quite varied in their structure, which makes for good rock climbing.

We enjoyed watching the many people on the sheer rock faces that day…

…and we were glad that none of them had to use the equipment seen here that is provided by the state park!

We hiked a little ways on the Canyon Trail, then decided to cross the footbridge and check out the River Trail, which skirts the base of the mountain.  

It was too late in the day to attempt the four mile Misery Ridge Loop trail, but it certainly looks intriguing!  We talked to a Ranger at our park afterwards and he said, “It’s named Misery Ridge for a reason.”  We will have to think about this one.  😎

One thing is for certain:  the scenery was outstanding!  This photo shows Mt. Jefferson peeking through Asterisk Pass.  We never get tired of seeing the line of snow-capped stratovolcanoes hovering above the high desert landscape we are in.

Zooming in on the ‘asterisk’, we saw this hiker contemplating his next move.  It makes you wonder what is on the other side. 😊

We definitely enjoyed our afternoon at Smith Rock State Park.  With it being so close to our base at Prineville Reservoir, we would love to come back and do more hiking.  Stay tuned for that and more, as we continue to explore this beautiful slice of Oregon!

———-

Smith Rock Climbing Guide and anything else imaginable on our exploRVistas Amazon link HERE  😃

———-

explorRVistas is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon .com. Shopping through our link does not add anything to your cost, but it does help support this blog. Thank you for shopping through exploRVistas

18 thoughts on “Smith Rock State Park”

  1. Smith Rock SP is an interesting spot. We aren’t fans of starting a hike from the top…only means trouble at the end. It is a long climb up and out from the river. We did Misery Ridge and have our story in a blog post so you check out the trail if you are thinking of heading back. The volunteer in the VC said the ranger prefer you start the hike from the back side and come down the front which is right by the bridge. It is very steep which isn’t too bad. You just stop and rest you need to. It was the peas size gravel on the steep sections that made coming down so challenging. Hiking poles are a must for this hike. I am not a fan of gravel and steepness. I can’t seem to relax which makes it so hard on my knees. But we made it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great information, Pam! Yes, that hike up from the river at the end is steep, and I imagine it’s really tough after Misery Ridge! Any hike of length brings out the poles, as our knees let us know otherwise!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s