Category Archives: News

Prairie Falcons Nesting Again—Heads Up on Route Closures

Joining the bald and golden eagles, the prairie falcons are back to roost for the season. While this DOES NOT affect hiking trails, it does close down a few routes for climbers.

First Kiss Climbing Area Falcon Closure sign

Nesting area closures in the Picnic Lunch Wall and First Kiss areas that are in effect until June 30, 2017.

Smith Rock State Park is very lucky to have these birds choose the park as their safe breeding turf. It’s rare that they travel away from wetlands.

Picnic Lunch Wall routes above 100 feet and some in the First Kiss area are closed. Here is a quick reference map for the areas affected.

Communing with My Adopted Eagle Family—one Smith Rock Wildlife Photographer’s Story

Guest blogger Jack Wills has a special connection to wildlife, and they to him. A self-described “semi-professional” photographer, Jack has decided to focus on them specifically for the last 15 years. The result is an amazing portfolio with images that make you feel a part of his “Animal Kingdom” experience.

Jack Wills Photography website
Jack Wills Photography website

We were fortunate to run into him hanging out with his bald eagle family here at Smith Rock the other day. In addition to sharing some of his images from the day, he shared his story of what makes the park so special to him as a wildlife photographer.

A Bit of Seasonal Flooding

Each year at this time the River Trail joins the river. That is, a part of it goes under water depending on the amount of snow melt and rainwater that hits the Crooked River. 

The park has posted signs where you might encounter some flooding near the southern junction of the Mesa Verde and River Trails. It fluctuates a lot at this time of year, so if you’re bored or want to go boating, you can watch the readings from the bridge gauge. Here you go.

Otherwise, click on the image below for a pdf of the affected area and be prepared for some soggy sneakers!

Balds and Goldens are Back

It’s nesting time again at Smith Rock State Park for both pairs of golden and bald eagles. While hiking trails remain open, some campsites and climbing route closures will go into effect from February 17 to August 1 to give them a little privacy.

Canyon Trail and Campground (Bivy) areas:

  • The bald eagle nest is located near posted signs along the Canyon Trail. Park managers are asking for those using the trail to please:

    *KEEP NOISE TO A MINIMUM

    *DO NOT LOITER & STAY ON TRAIL

    *TRAVEL IN GROUPS OF 4 OR LESS