Hanging Out in the Park When It's Dark?

July 18, 2017

You might want to rethink that. While the park has been pretty loose on the day use rules in the past, those days are over. Even if you're camping in the Bivy. After dusk use of any day use area or facility at Smith Rock is a no-no. If your car is in the lot expect a ticket ($110) in the mail.

Regulations as well as signage around the park state it’s open from dawn to dusk (30 minutes prior to sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset).

While times were a bit looser in the past for after dusk use if you had a camping pass and were parked in the bivouac camping area, this will no longer be the case. And if you are in the RV overflow lot because you got squeezed out of your spot by leaving the parking lot, you will also be ticketed, and the gate will be locked at night.

The park does recognize that the parking situation is a bit out of control at the Bivy, so if you get your pass by 5:00 PM, and you want to leave to come back later see the Park Hosts at the Bivy before you go. They will issue you a special pass to park in the RV overflow lot so that you have a spot when you return. 

Special-use permits may be issued for after hours use. Contact the park office at 541-548-7501 if you’re interested in filing for a permit.

Some (not all) reasons/concerns for the renewed enforcement of this existing Oregon Administrative Rule include:

-Illegal camping including campfires in high fire season.
-Lack of park staff and resources to manage the use.
-Overuse of park facilities and parklands in general.
-Voiced concerns from park neighbors.
-Limited emergency response resources.

Not fun, we know. But the park is growing in visitation and with that brings some growing pains. Hopefully, this will help protect it for all of us.