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 😃
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