Gratitude = Smith Rock

A Thanksgiving message submitted by one very moved by the magic that is Smith Rock State Park.

Temple of gold

I lay in the dry desert soil where my life began. In the west horizon, the sun sets beyond the ribbon of the cascade mountains, and to the east, the sun rises pink over the rolling hills of juniper and sage. This is where the geese bark and the eagles soar. A crooked river flows through a valley of its creation, where once upon a time a mighty mountain stood that is now a caldera of dreams. This is where the otters splash and play, and the songbirds sing. This is where volcanic tuff rises like a prolific temple of gold and where a monolith resembles a wise ape. It is here when I was a young boy that I discovered my curiosity and the importance of places of beauty and wonder that ask for silence.

Aerial America Soars Above Monkey Face

While it’s tough to tell on the Smithsonian Channel’s site just exactly when this segment on Climbing Monkey Face was produced, it’s probably new to most of us.

climbers on the Pioneer Route of Monkey Face at Smith Rock State ParkPart of a series of Aerial America, this 2+ minute historical segment on Monkey Face contributes further to Smith Rock State Park’s prominence as an international destination for sport climbing.

Locals will wonder why the oh-CHO-cos got mispronounced as well as top billing over the Cascades when positioning the park.

And climbers will undoubtedly notice aid climbing happening vs sport climbing from the narrator at one point, but kick back and enjoy it anyway!


Bring your own water that is, unless you care to fill up at the Bivy or Rim Day Use restrooms.

Drinking fountains in the park are turned off for the season, as they needed to be drained and then shut off to prevent pipes from breaking with evening tempsĀ dropping into the 20s.