Tips for Hiking Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

If you are ever visiting Oregon and enjoy the outdoors, we have the perfect hike for you. Smith Rock State Park is one of our favorite hikes in Oregon. With its beauty, it’s no wonder that Smith Rock is one of 7 wonders of Oregon. Smith Rock State Park is an excellent place to hike, but its actually more well-known for rock-climbing. Red volcanic rock surrounds a windy river canyon for spectacular scenery. Here are some tips if you plan to hike Smith Rock. 

Where is Smith Rock State Park?

Smith Rock State Park is a state park located in Central Oregon. It is located in Terreborne, Oregon, 30 minutes outside of Bend.

What are the best hikes in Smith Rock State Park?

There are over 600 acres to the state park, so theres no shortage of trails to choose from.  You can choose an easy 2.5 mile stroll along the river, or if you’re up for the challenge we highly recommend Misery Ridge.  And yes the name says it all.

Tips for hiking Misery Ridge

Although we don’t enjoy the climb up, the view is incredible! Starting at the main trailhead, cross the river and start the climb uphill for 700 feet. The uphill trail is almost 4 miles, but its incredible steep, so be prepared to do some trekking. Even though we’ve done it before, it kicks our butt each time. Tsunami, on the other hand, is practically dragging us up the trail. Misery Ridge is pretty intense, with loose gravel and some cliffs, so we don’t recommend taking small children. The trail has some intense switchbacks and oversized stairs, but your eyes will thank you once you reach the top. At the top of the hike, you can look out onto the mountains, including The Three Sisters and Mt. Bachelor, while watching the rock-climbers pull themselves to the top of Monkey Face.

hiking Smith Rock State Park
hiking Smith Rock State Park
Monkey Face, famous for rock-climbing

Whatever route you choose, you won’t be disappointed with the views at Smith Rock State Park. As you’re hiking through the park, you’ll be sure to see some rock-climbers scaling the rock walls. Smith Rock is a huge place for rock-climbers, with plenty of cliffs to climb, including Monkey Face, which has some of the hardest climbs in the world. A clear day on top of Smith Rock will show you some incredible panoramic views of the Cascade mountains. But even on a cloudy day, the view is worth the trek.

Pictures of Smith Rock are used for the film, Wild, based on the popular book written by Cheryl Strayed on her real-life journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. Even though Smith Rock is not a part of the Pacific Crest Trail, the scenery is definitely beautiful.

Directions to Smith Rock State Park: 30 minutes North of Bend or 3 hours south of Portland

Open: Parks and campgrounds open all year long


  • Parking requires an Oregon State Park pass. You can pay $5/car when you get there
  • Dogs are welcome, but must be on-leash.
  • It can get busy in the summer and on weekends, so mid-week is the best time to come
  • Make sure to bring some water and snacks if you plan to be there all day

If you are looking for a place to stay while in Bend, the Wall Street Suites have dog-friendly suites only 20 minutes away from Smith Rock. After hiking Smith Rock State Park, check out all these great things to do in Bend

Other great places to hike near Bend:

Monkey Face Smith Rock State Park

If you’re up for a challenging hike, Misery Ridge is definitely worth the trek. It’s a steep but fairly fast hike up to the views. This is one of the best hikes with some of the best views in all of Oregon!

Have you ever visited Smith Rock State Park? Tell us if you’ve tried the hike up Misery Ridge trail or not. Where is your favorite hike located? 



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  1. I feel like a view that breath-taking is always worth the crazy hike. I’ve only been to Oregon twice and both were to visit Portland. I definitely need to see other parts of Oregon.

  2. This is really beautiful. I wish I had explored more of Oregon when I was there but I only drove from Seattle to Portland. Must get back to do some hiking.

  3. I have seen Smith Rock from the highway and each time I drive it I say to myself, “I need to check that place out!” Thanks for the tips on the hiking and pet-friendly hotel. Saving for next time I’m down this way.

  4. Wow! How beautiful is the scenery of this park! Thanks for sharing all the information on entry etc as well!

  5. The hike looks amazing with the mountains in the background. I have never visited Oregon but I have been to other states and would love to do a drive across the USA. Thanks for highlighting this wonderful place

  6. Smith Rock is definitely worth a stop if you are in the Central Oregon area! They have easy trails that go along the top areas and the view is GREAT!!! We visit once a week 😉 it never gets old! If you are lucky you will see the resident bald eagles!!!

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