For the Rock Climber: Smith Rock State Park in Oregon

from Off the Beaten Path | 318
Smith Rock State Park, Oregon© 2009 Shutterstock/zschnepfThe park and the Crooked River Canyon therein stand in stark contrast to the forested mountain landscapes associated with Oregon.

9241 N.E. Crooked River Dr., Terrebonne, Oregon

Smith Rock is known as one of the world’s most popular rock-climbing destinations. The keynote here is color: 623 acres of spectacular sandstone formations—boulders, cliffs, crags, and pinnacles—in magnificent pale yellows, burnt reds, rich greens, and purples that change with the shifting sunlight. The Crooked River, a ribbon of blue, twists among them. Some speculate that the park was named for the man who discovered it, John Smith, a Kentuckian who came to Oregon in the 1850s and rose to political prominence.

Picnic sites are scattered throughout the park. Several paved pathways lead from the parking lot to the river’s edge and across a footbridge, where a network of trails spreads out among the formations.

Open year-round. Day-use admission charged per vehicle.

www.oregonstateparks.org/park_51.php

(800) 551-6949