The easy Rim Rock Trail provides spectacular views of the park all from the comfort of a .5 mile stroll along the canyon ridge.
You can picnic at nearby tables, and have the kids play on the Monkey Face climbing wall.
Or save it for the way back to hang out in a shady area before driving home.
Strategically placed park benches allow you to observe the climbers on Christian Brothers, The Dihedrals and Morning Glory Wall.
You can rest while they provide the show.
Pack some binoculars and you can get up close and personal with the rest of the wildlife too.
Geese and birds of prey use the gorge as a food corridor and path to their nesting areas.
As you keep winding left you see Asterisk Pass, marked by a boulder resembling Woodstock from Snoopy comic strip fame.
The Smith Rock Group with Phoenix Buttress, another popular climbing area, lies just beyond the horse ford. On summer days you may see them crossing with their riders when the river is lowest.
Hang a sharp left at the junction to return on a loop that you pick up by the RV parking lot. It rejoins the main trail you came up on and takes you back to the Welcome Center.
Want to go down to the canyon? Stay straight at the junction for .14 miles, and it takes you to the Rope-de-Dope Trail.
Hang a sharp right and go down into the park, or continue into the campground Bivy area.