Hiking Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon became a popular rock climbing spot in the 1980s and actually has the first 15.4c-rated route in the US called Just Do It, which was first climbed in 1992. Just looking out over Crooked River from the parking lot you can easily spot numerous climbers scaling the rock face.

Smith Rock State Park

The best hike at Smith Rock State Park

There are also some great hikes (see this map). It’s not a huge park, so you can cover a lot of ground in a short time here. I had exactly one afternoon to explore the area and decided to tackle Misery Ridge Trail (winding back around on the River Trail) for the best workout and views.

According to AllTrails, it’s a 4-mile loop with 1,043 feet of gain. It was a nice little hike and gave awesome views of Cascade Mountain Range and Monkey Face rock formation. Lots of friendly dogs along the way, too.

There are several other short trails you can tack on to make a day of it, or just post up and watch the climbers. Driving out there, you’ll pass farm after farm and see some interesting animals, like these furry cows. We even pulled over to watch a brand new baby calf trying to learn to walk. He was probably just minutes old. Mom was dealing with some necessary after-birth things. It was gross and magical and very interesting. Ah, Central Oregon…

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