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Elevation: 2,637 ft
GPS: 44.36779, -121.13906
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Description Suggest change

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:  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 Suggest change

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.


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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.

Camping & Fees

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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 about 8 miles away. 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. 76 sites all with Picnic tables and fire rings.  Multiple pit toilets around the loop.  There is no water available here so stock up beforehand. It's first-come first-served and can fill up on busy weekends. Single and double sites.  $7 for day use.  $15/day for single/$30 for double.  Most sites are huge and room for multiple vehicles/trailer campers.  $7 for extra vehicle and a 14-day limit.

A Brief Note About The Routes

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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.


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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.

Smith Rock bouldering can now be found in the second edition of Central Oregon Bouldering, Second Edition, by Jason Chinchen. Found at Redpoint Climbers Supply, Mountain Supply, and online through the Central Oregon Bouldering Facebook page, the second edition features a selection of the best bouldering at Smith.

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

Food & Supplies

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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.

1,428 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
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0
Pioneer Route
Trad, Sport, Aid 5 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Voyage of the Cowdog
Sport 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Moonshine Dihedral
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Wherever I May Roam
Sport 5 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Dirty Pinkos
Sport 4 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Cruel Sister
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Trad 4 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Screaming Yellow Zonkers
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Nine Gallon Buckets
Sport 2 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Moons of Pluto
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Magic Light Start
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Vomit Launch
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Heinous Cling Start
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Spiderman (p) Spiderman Buttress
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Pioneer Route (s) Monkey Face
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0 Trad, Sport, Aid 5 pitches
Voyage of the Cowdog (a) Picnic Lunch Wall
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 3 pitches
Moonshine Dihedral (k) The Dihedrals
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Wherever I May Roam (m) Smith Rock… > (6) Northwest Face
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 5 pitches
Dirty Pinkos (u) Red Wall
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport 4 pitches
Cruel Sister (z) Lower Gorge > W Side > (3) Catwalk Cliff
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Zion (g) Morning Glory Wall
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Screaming Yellow Zonkers (q) Mesa Verde Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Nine Gallon Buckets (g) Morning Glory Wall
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport 2 pitches
Moons of Pluto (q) Mesa Verde Wall
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Magic Light Start (g) Morning Glory Wall
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Toxic (d) Aggro Gully
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Vomit Launch (f) Cocaine Gully
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Heinous Cling Start (k) The Dihedrals
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Smith Rock »

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