These basalt columns are on the rimrock on the West side of the river. Due to their location they receive shade almost all day and make for a great place to escape the sun.
From the turnaround at the northern end of the parking area head East to the rim. Find a place where there are detached pillars and a rebar ladder going down a chimney. Climb down this chimney and head upriver (southeast). After crossing a large slide of small boulders you'll see the start of many pillars that are the lower gorge.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for West Side:
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On The Road 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c OR : Smith Rock : ... : Wildfire Wall
The technical crux hits soon after the start with a thin crack through a bulge that is finger size dependent. Larger fingers require face moves while smaller fingers can use the thin crack. Fighting the pump to the finish is the other crux of this classic route. A great climb....[more] Browse More Classics in OR
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