Elevation: 2,648 ft
GPS: 44.366, -121.143 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 2,500,029 total · 15,031/month
Shared By: Peter Franzen on Jan 22, 2006 with improvements by Hayden B and 3 others
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details

Description

Smith Rock is Oregon’'s premier rock climbing destination, and one of the best sport climbing areas in the United States. This world-renowned sport climbing mecca has more than once been at the focal point of the climbing world. Extensive development took place in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s by locals and international climbers alike, who put up scores of classic climbs on the tuff and basalt cliffs; development continues to this day with new moderates and cutting-edge routes going up each year. Ranging from classic beginner routes to hardcore testpieces on a wide variety of rock, there is truly something here for everyone. Although best known for its sport climbing traditional climbers can find plenty to be excited about here as well.

Located in the high desert in central Oregon, Smith Rock State Park’s cliffs and hillsides take a commanding presence over the surrounding terrain. The main cliffs are made of volcanic welded tuff, and surrounding bands of columnar basalt lie above the winding Crooked River.

Smith Rock is a perfect weekend getaway for residents of the Portland area as well as a worthy destination for anybody exploring the West’s climbing. The prominent walls overlooking the Crooked River are home to many of Smith Rock’s most famous routes, but for those seeking some solitude and adventure there is plenty to be found on the back side or among the basalt columns in the Upper and Lower gorge. Monkey Face, perhaps the park’s most recognizable feature, sits proudly on the back side of Smith Rock with spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains and the arid landscape below.

It takes years to become familiar with all of the areas at Smith, and there is enough climbing here to allow even the locals to find new favorites every season. There are over 1,500 routes at Smith but it's easy to get stuck in a cycle where you only climb the same 50 classics each season; a little exploring here to the less-traveled areas goes a long way.

Approaches are generally short and straightforward from the main parking lot, and a well-maintained system of trails provides easy access to all of the park’s areas. Please don’t stray from the established trails; the visual and environmental impact of people scrambling up the hillsides can be enormous.

There is water available at the parking lot and a drinking fountain at the bridge, although they both get turned off during the cold months. I've heard that the water from the sinks in the bathrooms isn't potable so bring your own to be on the safe side if the fountains are shut off.

Restrooms are available in the main parking lot, at the bridge, and the Phoenix Composting Toilet is conveniently located within sprinting distance of the popular walls on the front side of the park. Please respect those around you, keep your pets under control, and pack out everything that you bring in.

If you've never been to Smith Rocks before, there is an overview map posted here that can help you find your way around.
The areas to the left are organized in the same fashion as the Watt's Guidebook, going to the left from Picnic Lunch Wall, to Monkey Face, and then across to Red Wall and towards the Monument Wall and around the gorge.

Safety Note: Part of Smith's long history of climbing and subsequent popularity is the existence of heavily used and/or aging hardware in various states of decay.  If you encounter bolts or fixed gear that is beyond your ability to make safe, please report it here:  goo.gl/forms/Fg2XZHWEW0xPUpN23  Examples of fixed gear that don't need to be reported are old/decaying fixed draws (if they're marginal, take them down and install new ones!) and expansion bolts that simply need to be tightened with a wrench.  If a bolt won't tighten and/or stay tight, then it's a candidate for replacement.

Getting There

Smith Rock State Park is located in the town of Terrebonne, Oregon. Take Smith Rock Drive East off of Hwy. 97 in Terrebonne, then take a left on 17th Street, a right on Wilcox Ave, and finally a left on Crooked River Drive to the main parking lot. It's pretty easy to find, but here's a map just in case.

Driving time to Smith Rock State Park is approximately 6-7 hours from Seattle, 2.5-3 hours from Portland, and around 30 minutes from Bend. The closest airport is 10 miles away in Redmond, OR.

Weather

Smith Rock webcam

Due to its location in Oregon's high desert the weather at Smith is typically dry and sunny. Generally there are very few days of the year where climbing is out of the question at Smith; soaking rain is rare, although the heat can be oppressive during the summer.

The best times to climb at Smith are the Spring and Fall. Summers are hot and it's not uncommon for the thermometer to soar above 100F in the sun, and in winter there are plenty of near to sub-freezing dry days for your hardcore redpoint attempts.

Standard desert rules apply to camping too: it gets surprisingly cold at night so be sure to pack that down jacket.

A Brief Note About The Routes

Smith is a sport climber's paradise in many ways, but there are some key factors that must be kept in mind for a fun trip.

First-timers will undoubtedly notice something strange about the first bolt on many of the routes: it is often 15 feet off the ground, and there will likely be some committing moves leading up to it. This goes for routes of almost any grade, from the 5.8 trade routes to the 5.13 and .14 projects. Many of these routes begin on hillsides as well which makes a pre-clip tumble a very, very bad idea.

Do not hesitate to bring a stick-clip down into the park with you, and prepare to be somewhat humble about the climbing. People do occasionally take some ugly falls before the first bolt has been clipped on popular routes, which can easily be avoided by pre-clipping the 'draw.

You don't often see routes here with bolts every 5 ft. as you might at other areas, and while it may be intimidating at first you'll learn to love it as you spend more time here. If it's your first time at Smith it wouldn't be a bad idea to start off slowly and try a handful of routes a grade or 3 below what you're used to climbing, just to make sure you're comfortable.

Camping & Fees

There is a $5.00/car fee to park at Smith Rock that can be paid for at the kiosk in the main parking lot. For $30.00 you can buy a season pass at Thriftway in Terrebonne or at the Welcome Yurt in the main parking lot at the park on weekends from 9-2.

There are two options for camping at Smith. For a fee ($8/person/night) you can camp at the Smith Bivy area which is adjacent to the park-- look for the sign just before the main parking lot. There are bathrooms with showers, water, and a cooking area. No fires are allowed. Be aware this is tent camping only - you cannot sleep in your vehicles.

The second option is the Skull Hollow campground. To get there take either Wilcox Avenue or Smith Rock Way East until you reach Lone Pine Road-- take a left. After a few miles of cow pastures look for a sign on the left for Skull Hollow (Here's a Google Maps link with directions from the park). If you hit Hwy. 26 you've gone too far. It has bathrooms and camp fires are allowed. There is no water available here so stock up beforehand. It's first-come first-served and can fill up on busy weekends. It is $5/car/night, and a 14-day limit.

Guidebooks

The Smith Bible (aka Rock Climbing Smith Rock State Park) by Allan Watts is the best book out for Smith and one of the finest guidebooks anywhere. It is the second edition of Watts' Smith guide, and it contains an incredible amount of history, photos, topos, and beta.

The more compact Smith Rock Select is a great short list of the mega-classics here. Great pictures, clear topos, and good descriptions make for easy routefinding, but it's pretty brief in scope and is by no means comprehensive. If you're just passing through Smith for a weekend you could easily get by on this book alone.

Both books are listed in the Books For This Area link on this page.

Food & Supplies

The town of Terrebonne has a decent gocery store, gas stations, and even a decent espresso stand (around the back of Thriftway). Not to be missed is the climber-owned Terrebonne Depot for food, wine, beer, and cocktails; it's hard to beat a buffalo cheeseburger and a beer here after a day in the park.

Redmond is a 10 minute drive away and has a few decent breakfast places as well as some other hotels, fast food, grocery stores, and dinner options. The increasingly cosmopolitan city of Bend has a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and brewpubs that cater to everyone from the country club crowd to the local hippies.

Redpoint Climber's Supply is a great shop to pick up all your climbing and camping needs in Terrebonne. In addition to climbing gear they now offer coffee and espresso drinks, along with beer, cider, mead and kombucha, by the glass, or filling growlers. They have a small sitting area so people who are traveling can sit on a couch, or at a table, use the free WiFi, and grab a drink.

1,064 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Smith Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0
 273
Pioneer Route
Trad, Sport, Aid 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C0
 136
West Face Variation
Trad, Aid 5 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 92
Monkey Off My Back
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 271
Zion
Trad 4 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 144
Bad Finger
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 304
Moons of Pluto
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 105
Wartley's Revenge
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 156
Pure Palm
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 244
Toxic
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 212
Vomit Launch
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 89
Monkey Space
Sport 2 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 74
Dreamin'
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 146
Heinous Cling Start
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 91
Heinous Cling
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 97
Chain Reaction
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Pioneer Route (s) Monkey Face
 273
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0 Trad, Sport, Aid 3 pitches
West Face Variation (s) Monkey Face
 136
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C0 Trad, Aid 5 pitches
Monkey Off My Back (s) Monkey Face
 92
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Zion (g) Morning Glory Wall
 271
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Bad Finger (z) Lower Gorge > W Side > (2) Wildfire Wall
 144
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Moons of Pluto (q) Mesa Verde Wall
 304
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Wartley's Revenge (l) Christian B… > Christian Brothers -…
 105
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 3 pitches
Pure Palm (z) Lower Gorge > W Side > (2) Wildfire Wall
 156
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Toxic (d) Aggro Gully
 244
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Vomit Launch (f) Cocaine Gully
 212
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Monkey Space (s) Monkey Face
 89
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport 2 pitches
Dreamin' (l) Christian B… > Christian Brothers -…
 74
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Heinous Cling Start (k) The Dihedrals
 146
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Heinous Cling (k) The Dihedrals
 91
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Chain Reaction (k) The Dihedrals
 97
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Smith Rock »

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