Smith Rock State Park - Atlas Obscura

Smith Rock State Park

Terrebonne, Oregon

Spectacular volcanic cliffs along the Crooked River invite hiking, rock climbing, and photography.  

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The Crooked River rises in the mountains of central Oregon and flows generally westward, dropping into the deep Crooked River Gorge to join the north-flowing Deschutes near Terrebonne. Just before the Crooked River enters the gorge, it winds placidly among a set of sheer cliffs and towering spires that form the centerpiece of this spectacular state park.

The park is seamed with a network of developed hiking trails, some running parallel to the river. A large footbridge over the river is also present. These trails provide many opportunities for sightseeing, photography, or simply strolling through a natural park. Wildlife observation and photography are also attractions.

Smith Rock State Park is also a popular center for rock climbing, with thousands of routes including over a thousand bolted routes, with difficulties ranging from beginner to extreme. Climbers are a common sight on the cliffs and pinnacles when visiting the park.

Know Before You Go

Smith Rock State Park is just east of Terrebonne, Oregon. To get to the main park entrance, turn east off US 97 in Terrebonne onto Smith Rock Way.


This intersection should be signed, but in any case is at about 44.3513 N, 121.1787 W. Go 0.6 miles and turn left on Lambert Rd (a.k.a. NE 1st St.) After about 0.5 mile Lambert Road makes a right-angle bend to the right and becomes NE Wilcox Ave. Continue 1.5 miles to NE Crooked River Rd and turn left. The state park will be visible in front of you, and the parking lot for the park will be on the left in about 0.6 miles.


In general, stay on marked trails. Leashed dogs are allowed, but please clean up after your pet. Mountain bikes, as well as horses, are allowed on the river trails, but horses must cross the river at one of two designated horse fords.


Bring plenty of water as the park can be hot in the summer months with the sun reflecting off the cliffs. Check the park website for current fees and detailed regulations.


Overall the park is focused on day use. There is picnicking but the only camping is walk-in tent camping, "bivouac-style," and is reserved night-to-night only. Check this website for nearby locations for RV camping, as well as for nearby lodging, climbing guide services, and other general information.

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February 15, 2024

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