Flora and Fauna

Blend in with the natural surroundings by keeping your voice low.

Then look and listen while staying on the trails–you’ll be amazed at the flora and fauna that abounds in the park.

geese in flight on the Canyon Trail at Smith Rock State ParkSmith Rock State Park is a wildlife management area where all creatures are protected, so they generally tolerate visitors.

Go in the early morning for sightings of geese and duck on the banks of the river.

Later in the afternoon you may be treated to the grace and beauty of a blue heron perched on a rock in the river.

Otters are often spotted playing around on rocks by the bridge, or around the banks of the River Trail.

Occasionally you’ll see snakes on the trails, so keep a watchful eye. Wolf Tree Rattler at Smith Rock State ParkGenerally they are only harmless gopher snakes.

But if you hear a buzz or a rattle take pause. It’s the more elusive and poisonous rattlesnake. Give it a wide berth to continue on its way.

Coyotes and cougars are rarely seen, but occasionally there are sightings, usually from a distance.

You’re more likely to see a lizard or a rabbit along the trails, and to hear the whistle of a marmot in the many boulder fields.herd of deer at Smith Rock State Park

Deer are usually seen in herds in the early or later hours.

Look overhead and you’ll see a variety of birds of prey, including red tail hawks, prairie falcons, kestrels, bald eagles, and golden eagles. Here’s a movie of a bald eagle nesting with a surprise showing of another park favorite, the yellow-bellied marmot.

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The smaller birds come out to eat the insects usually at dawn and dusk, but you’ll see swallows teasing the climbers all day long.

Blue flowers at Smith Rock State Park

While the rocks and wildlife get a lot of attention, take a moment to look closely at the high desert flora along the trails.

Spring time is the ideal time for brighter flowers, including Indian paintbrush and lupine, but you can commune with the ponderosa all year.


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Online resource for adventurers to Smith Rock State Park. Detailed information for rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, slacklining and horseback riding.