Smith Rock State Park

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Smith Rock State Park
Scenic view of Smith Rock.jpg
Smith Rock State Park is located in Oregon
Smith Rock State Park
Type Public, state
Location Deschutes County, Oregon
Nearest city Redmond
Coordinates 44°22′09″N 121°08′18″W / 44.3692875°N 121.1383676°W / 44.3692875; -121.1383676Coordinates: 44°22′09″N 121°08′18″W / 44.3692875°N 121.1383676°W / 44.3692875; -121.1383676[1]
Area 641 acres (259 ha)
Operated by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Open year round
Status open
Official website

Smith Rock State Park is a state park located in central Oregon's high desert near the towns of Redmond and Terrebonne. Its sheer cliffs of tuff and basalt are ideal for rock climbing of all difficulty levels. Smith Rock is generally considered the birthplace of modern American sport climbing, and is host to cutting-edge climbing routes. There is sport climbing, traditional climbing, Multi-pitch climbing, and bouldering. Parking fees are $5 a day or $30 a month. The park is dog friendly but requires leashes at all times.

The park contains the first U.S. climb rated 5.14 (8b+). The area is well known for its challenging climbing routes so eventually all top climbers visit. In 1983, Allan Watts began to use sport climbing ethics which pushed American climbing to new levels. Shortly after, between 1992 and 2009, about 500 new climbing routes were added.[2] This brought climbers from all over the world as Smith Rock became the world capital for sport climbing. To this day the park still attracts climbers from all over the world. The best time to visit is fall and late spring.[citation needed] The winter tends to be too cold (below freezing) and the summer months regularly reach the 100s °F (40s °C).[3] In addition to the world-famous rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is host to many miles of hiking trails, the meandering Crooked River and views of the volcanic peaks of Oregon's Cascade Range.

There are two camping options available: one in the park's bivouac area at the southern boundary of the park. The other is the Skull Hollow Campground located several miles from the park. Camping at the bivouac is $10 a day. There is hot water, showers, bathrooms, and many campsites to choose from. The park asks all bivouac users to keep all food out of campsites and in the communal kitchen area. Skull Hollow campground is 5 miles east of the park and runs along a Forest Service road. Although it is free, there is no running water and it is farther from the park.

The Crooked River in Smith Rock State Park
Scene in February 1941 of a Civilian Conservation Corps project near Smith Rock.

Use in films[edit]

Several westerns have been filmed at Smith Rock, including Rooster Cogburn, a 1975 film starring John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn; the Rockhard building at the park's entrance was built as a movie set for this film, where it was portrayed as a saloon.

Much of the 1994 film adaptation of the 1976 book Even Cowgirls Get The Blues was filmed within view of Smith Rock. Scenes from the 1997 feature The Postman took place on location, and Smith Rock appears in 2001's Swordfish.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Smith Rock State Park". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  2. ^ Phuong Cat Le (September 20, 2007). "Climbing is the main attraction, but there are other reasons to visit". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Hearst Communications Inc.). 
  3. ^ Allan Watts (January 6, 2010). "Rock Climbing: Smith Rocks". Falcon Guild (Morris Book). ISBN 978-0762741243. 

External links[edit]