The majesty of Smith Rock State Park is unique, even for the high desert plateau of Oregon.
The park covers over 650 acres and hovers around 3000 feet in elevation.The major rock faces are welded tuff, or compressed volcanic ash.
The result? Massive walls and spires up to 550 feet.
The picnic and campground areas sit on top of the rimrock, which is made up of columnar basalt.
Between 1960 and 1975 a combination of purchases and gifts of land finally formed the park as we know it today. Put on the map by the rock climbing community, it now attracts over 800,000 visitors a year from around the world.
How was it named? Well, that’s another story…
Hikers, climbers, trail runners, horseback riders and mountain bikers all flock here.
And look up high–slackliners stretch their webbing across wall ridges to walk above people and birds alike.
Dogs can join in the fun too. They just need to be on a leash.
The park and campground are open year-round. Day-use visitor hours are from dawn to dusk.
A $5 day use permit or a current state park camp receipt available from the self service pay stations is needed for each vehicle.
A yearly permit is $30, two-year permits are $50, and both are available at the Welcome Center.
Hiking trails offer spectacular views of the surrounding area. You can spend from just 30 minutes walking along the river or hike the full day over ridges and into canyons.
Details and virtual hiking trail tours are on each of the trail pages.
Come year-round, but know that summer temperatures can reach 100+ degrees.
In the dead of winter, the thermometer stays close to the freezing mark during the day.
Spring and fall are the best months to avoid the crowds and beat the heat of the summer. Sunny winter days aren’t bad either.
Check out our detailed trail system section to start your exploration and link to virtual tours of each of the hiking trails.
Planning a school field trip? The park’s staff is eager to help. Give them a call at 541-548-7501.
Need a park brochure to get an overview? Here you go.