Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock


Smith Rock State Park is the area around Smith Rock which is known as the birthplace of recreational rock climbing in the United States. Located just outside of the small town of Terrebonne in Central Oregon it is a mecca for rock climbers both in the United States and around the world. There are hundreds of climbs for climbers of all skill levels from beginners to extreme experts.

There is plenty to do if you don't have an interest in climbing. There are hiking, bicycle, and horseback riding trails. The Crooked River runs through the park where you can fish, watch wildlife, have a picnic, and hike. The hiking trails run from easy to extremely difficult. The photo opportunities are endless both of the landscape and wildlife.

Smith Rock and Beyond


A walk-in campground is available for tents for those who want to spend the night. There are no RV spaces in the park. The camp sites are primitive and simply places where you can pitch a tent and rough it. Because of fire danger no campfires are allowed. Gas lanterns are also prohibited and smoking is only allowed inside vehicles. There is a designated place where you can use your own campstove.

Crooked River


The goal of the Oregon State Parks Division at Smith Rock State Park is to provide people with an enjoyable recreation site and preserve the natural environment. If you are fishing, hiking, bicycling, or horseback riding, you are asked to stay on the designated trails. The soil and vegetation are delicate and can take years to recover after being disturbed. When rock climbing you are encouraged to use clean techniques. I am not a rock climber and I can't discuss what those are. Do not disturb nesting wildlife such as the geese that nest along the river in spring. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet when outside a vehicle.

Rock Climbers


f you have never climbed Smith Rock before it is most likely a good idea to buy a guide book before you go. If you are a beginner you not only need the book but may want to hire one of the many guide services available. This is a BIG rock and people are injured and people do die while climbing Smith Rock so don't take this lightly. Just last week a man who was an experienced climber died from a fall and he wasn't even climbing at the time. He was walking on one of the difficult trails. He slipped and fell 100 feet. I don't want to scare you away but I also don't want you to go there without experience or limited experience and get yourself into trouble.

Rock Climber


The best book about climbing Smith Rock is "Climber's Guide to Smith Rock" by Alan Watts. It is a little pricey ($28.50 from Amazon--used copies are available for less.) but it is worth it if you are serious about climbing this rock. Alan Watts has climbed the climbs himself and tells you what kind of equipment you need and when you will need it. It's one of the "know before you go" kind of things. Most bookstores in Central Oregon will have it.

Smith Rock

Other Neither

Here are some guide services you can hire:

  • Smith Rock Climbing Guides, Inc.--(541) 548-4786
  • Chockstone Climbing Guides LLC--(541) 318-7170
  • First Ascnet Climbing Services--(541) -548-5137

Primitive camping at Smith Rock State Park may not be your idea of fun. Crooked River Ranch is not far away. They have over 90 RV sites and 20 tent sites. Staying there gives you access to the tennis courts, golf course, restaurants, and pool. Full hookups are available. Pets are welcome.


Smith Rock