The towering 350 foot spire of Monkey Face is an icon of Smith Rock State Park to all who see it.

But its grinning face beckons climbers to challenge themselves on a multi-pitch mix of face, aid, thin cracks and overhanging arêtes on every route to the top. Yet despite its fame, few rise to the challenge. Maybe it's the 25-30 minute hump to get there.

Or maybe the howling west wind in the winter on this exposed column puts you off. (The flip side of course makes it the place to be for nice cool breezes in the heat of the summer.)

climbers on the Pioneer Route of Monkey Face at Smith Rock State Park
climbers on the Pioneer Route of Monkey Face at Smith Rock State Park

While beginners to aid climbing can do so on the bolt ladder of The Pioneer Route, do get your mind in order for the length of the climb.

And then there's the exposure you'll experience at Panic Point. Hey, talk to the slackliners up there. Maybe they can provide some tips.

And then when you're ready, jump on the 5.14c Just Do It, for many years the hardest route in the country.

To get there, start by going left at the bridge on the River Trail for about .25 miles just past Christian Brothers

Then cut up and over Asterisk Pass for 120 feet of elevation gain to connect on the other side to the Mesa Verde Trail, then follow it up another 200 feet of elevation to the base.

Then try some of these both on the Monkey and in the area:
(All are rated 3-star in Alan Watts' Guidebook, with * noting a 4- star)

NOTE:  see seasonal closure information for this area)

Monkey Face


  • *Pioneer Route A1  clean to 2 inches, 5 pitches


  • *West Face Variation  mixed to 2.5 inches, 3 pitches

  • *West Face Variation Direct  trad, gear to 2 inches, 1 pitch


  • Monkey Space 5.11b  mixed to 2 inches, 3 pitches

  • Southwest Corner Traverse 5.11b  mixed to 2 inches, 1 pitch

  • Flexible Flyer 5.11d  sport, 6 bolts, 1 pitch

  • Moving in Stereo 5.11d  sport, 7 bolts, 1 pitch

  • *Rising Expectations 5.11d  trad, gear to 2 inches, 1 pitch

  • North Face 5.11d A1clean to 1 inch, 3 pitches


  • *Astro Monkey(aka Southwest Corner) 5.12a mixed to 2 inches, 6 pitches

  • *West Face 5.12a A1  clean to 2 inches, 19 bolts, 4 pitches

  • *Spank the Monkey 5.12a R  sport,  6 bolts, 1 pitch

  • East Face start 5.12c trad, gear to 2 inches, 1 pitch

  • *Northwest Passage 5.12c  mixed to 2.5 inches, 4 pitches

  • Pose Down 5.12c  sport, 9 bolts, 1 pitch

  • Sheer Trickery 5.12c  mixed to 1.5 inches, 1 pitch

  • Young Pioneers 5.12d  sport, 11 bolts, 1 pitch

  • *Close Shave 5.12d R  sport, 8 bolts, 1 pitch


  • *The Backbone 5.13a  sport, 13 bolts, 4 pitches

  • *East Face finish 5.13c  mixed to .5 inch, 1 pitch

  • *East Face 5.13d R  mixed to 2 inches, 2 pitches

  • *Spank the Monkey finish 5.13d R  sport,  13 bolts, 1 pitch


  • Just Do It 5.14c  sport, 17 bolts, 1 pitch

Kiss of the Lepers Buttress


  • First Kiss  sport, 11 bolts, 5 pitches

  • Groove Thang  sport,  8 bolts, 1 pitch


  • The Climb 5.12c  sport, 14 bolts, 4 pitches

Hello Kitty Cliff


  • Guinness  sport, 5 bolts, 1 pitch

  • Lucky Girl TR  1 pitch

  • Redundant TR  1 pitch

  • Ryan's Song  sport, 11 bolts, 1 pitch

climbing areas