Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Smith Rock State Park is an awesome little park just north of Bend, Oregon. We did a day hike there on our drive down to Yosemite National Park and it was a highlight of the trip. We hiked it in mid August and became hot very quickly, so bring sunscreen, a hat and lots of water (way more than you think you’ll need!). There are lots of trails, so a variety of loops can be made ranging from a short hike to a full day, depending on what you’re looking for. The park is known for its towering rock formations, which are popular with rock climbers. Trails follow the canyon rim, the river and up and over the rock formations. From the tops, there are great views of the Oregon Cascades to the west, including some of the big volcanoes.

We hiked for about 3 hours, starting in the parking lot above the river canyon, then dropping into the canyon to follow the river all the way around to the opposite site of the cliffs, then up and over the cliffs to make a loop. It took us about 3 hours. Give yourself lots of time to enjoy the views. It’s a spectacular area that shouldn’t be rushed.

There is a basic bivouac style campground near the parking lot and day use area for picnicking. If you’re passing through Bend, make sure to load up at Trader’s Joe’s!

Park information can be found on the Oregon State Parks website:



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