Smith Rock


Day Hike - Smith Rock

Priority registration 3/16 - 3/31 to photographers & naturalists. Enjoy day hikes, photography, natural history (a few early spring flowers, birds and other wildlife) and fascinating geology in this spectacular scenic park.

  • Sun, Apr 23, 2023 — Tue, Apr 25, 2023
  • Seattle Naturalists Committee
  • Photography, Day Hiking, Naturalist
  • Adults
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 15.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,900 ft
  • Pace: 1 - 1.5

Note:  Be sure to read "Leader Notes" (click "More" link)

4/22 Arrive mid- to late-afternoon at walk-in campsites. 

4/23 - 4/25:  Meet 8:30am at trail head for walk-in campsites, ready to hike.

Daily options to meet earlier  near main trail head for sunrise & early AM photography.

Approx 5.5 hour drive from Seattle.

Please read all leader notes before requesting leader permission.

Members only.  Leader permission required - include interest(s)/experience in naturalist and/or photo trips, and experience with Mountaineers naturalist and/or photo trips.  Priority registration 3/16 - 3/31 to photographers and naturalists, with recent history of Mountaineers naturalist and/or photography trips.   

After 3/31:  open to all other member hiker inquiries with leader permission required. 


Day 1 & 3 Monkey Face  4 mi loop (800' gain) approx 1/2 day wi varied direction & side trip on two days. Optional:  Day 1 sunset photos & day 3 sunrise  photos. Day 3: Will aim to finish hikes by mid-day to early afternoon. Day 2 Summit Trail 6.9 mi loop (1,100' gain) 2/3 to full day hike; optional:  sunrise & sunset photos.  

Pace (approx 1 - 1.5 mph) will be leisurely (mostly) to moderate with abundant stops for photo and naturalist opportunities.  Flexible pace with priority for photo/naturalist stops while we leisurely explore trails and viewpoints, and take advantage of good light for photography. 

Daily mileages are upper estimates, with emphasis on photo/naturalist interests, and taking advantage of good light and interesting natural or other subjects (ie, rock climbers), rather than achieving the estimated mileage.  Loop lengths may be shortened, or modified to out and back travel. 

Trail guides, photos and other info:

Camp at walk-in bivouac camp, non-reservable only, with daily fee. Other accoms nearby in Terrebone and Redmond.

Walk in Campground:  Tent sites located 150+ feet to south of campground parking area.  Camping fees are $8 per person per night. Check-in 4pm & check-out 1pm.  Fee station takes credit cards & exact cash/coins only.  Campground restrooms and showers are on north side of Bivy parking lot. Cooking in common area next to bivy parking; not in camping area. For more info:

Visitor guide/photos:

Featured geology hike in Hiking Oregon's Geology. 

See hike descriptions in 100 Hikes/Travel Guide - Central Oregon Cascades (Sullivan)  for Smith Rock.  

Smith Rock State Park is located within the immense Crooked River Caldera.   For more info on the caldera, see:

Photo recommendations, see:  Photographing Oregon: A Guide to the Natural Landmarks of Oregon (Vaughn).  Great sunrise and morning light in spring, and climbers in mid-morning.

REQUIRED PASS:  Oregon State Parks daily or annual vehicle pass.  Purchase before arrival at Smith Rock SP. 

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports