Climbing, Hiking, Riding and Camping-Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park

Travel about three hours straight north of Reno, NV and you’ll find a place the most active of RV campers won’t want to leave.  Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon has it all—challenging rock formations to climb, miles of trails for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders and dramatic rock spires to spice up your vacation videos.  Best of all, there are RV campgrounds surrounding the park to make it easy to explore in comfort.

Sound like your dream RV camping vacation? Let’s start planning!

Where to Camp Near Smith Rock State Park

You won’t be able to RV camp within the state park, but no worries—you’ve got plenty of options a short drive away.

  • Redmond/Central Oregon KOA near Madras is popular with families and about twenty miles from the park.
  • Crooked River Ranch RV Park north of Terrebonne is also a twenty-minute drive from Smith Rock.  It’s loaded with amenities and adjacent to a golf course, for even more outdoor recreation.
  • Skull Hollow Campground is twelve miles away in Crooked River National Grassland. Fill the fresh water tanks before you come (no hook-ups) and get ready to experience dazzling views of Gray Butte when you come home to rest from your Smith Rock adventures.
Smith Rock State Park, OR

Smith Rock State Park, OR

What to Do at Smith Rock State Park

The real question is, “What not to do at Smith Rock?”  The short answer is, “Don’t plan to be bored!”  With more than six-hundred-acres of volcanic rock formations soaring above the Crooked River, there’s enough room for everyone to play.   Just a few ideas:

Climb! Sport climbing, crack climbing, aid climbing, you name it, there’s a perfect place to climb a rock face at Smith Rock.  You’ll even find those gravity-defying slackliners walking the ropes high above.  The walls and spires here go as high as five hundred feet, with multi-pitch routes, rim rock and sheer drops to be experienced.  Pick your favorite climbing area, or better yet, hire a local climbing guide to show you the ropes at Smith Rock. Either way, you’ll be challenged and you simply can’t beat the views!

Ride! Mountain bikers from around the country have discovered Smith Rock State Park, thanks to the network of hard clay trails with enough switchbacks and gravel to keep things plenty interesting.  Routes like the heart-pumping, seven-mile Summit Trail skirt enormous boulders, scoot along the river gorge and pound downhill from elevations above three-thousand feet.

If you like to take your trails on horseback, you’ll find two multi-use trails within Smith Rock SP that offer gorgeous scenery and the chance to connect with longer trails on adjacent BLM land.  Local trail ride outfitters can provide an unforgettable experience of Smith Rock, as well. 

Run, Hike, Wander!  With so many epic trails to indulge your trail running, hiking or leisurely strolling yen, you’ll soon be scheduling your return camping trip to Smith Rock.  Run the Summit Trail to give your lungs a real workout (and reward yourself with panoramic views at the top.)  Hike the Misery Ridge Trail for a stunning view of the river valley and Monkey Face. Follow the Rim Rock Trail on the edge of the Gorge for heart-stopping vistas and a chance to watch the climbers in action.  These are just three of the trails to follow on foot at Smith Rock. Pick one or combine several to discover this marvelous place from the ground up.

Plan a Trip Soon to Smith Rock SP

There are few spots as memorable for outdoor recreation as Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park. If RV comfort is your preferred mode of camping, by all means bring it along—there’s a pretty place to park the RV nearby.  Plan your adventure, pick a campsite and get moving.  It’s time you, too, discovered the fabled wonders of Smith Rock.

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