Smith Rock State Park is located in Central Oregon, 3 miles east of the small town of Terrebonne. The larger cities of Redmond and Bend are 8 and 23 miles to the south, respectively. All climbing outings meet at the state park within walking distance of the rock. There are state park signs marking the way from Terrebonne, although they are sometimes missed at night. Here are the directions:
- From Hwy 97 in Terrebonne, turn east onto NW Smith Rock Way, at the flashing light. (The light isn't always flashing).
- Go about 1.5 miles to a left turn at NE 17th st.
- Go a half mile, and turn right on NE Wilcox.
- Go a half mile, and turn left on NE Crooked River Drive.
- Follow this road for a half mile until you enter the state park. Unless otherwise arranged with your guide, we will meet at our truck/trailer in the overflow parking area, which is marked by a blue sign saying "Bus/RV parking". The lot can be seen on the Smith Rock State Park map.
The Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) is the main airport for central Oregon, located approximately 15 minutes from Smith Rock State Park. The airport has daily direct flights servicing Portland, Denver, Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
The state park charges $5 per vehicle for parking, unless you have paid to camp at the bivouac area. A pass can be purchased at the yellow pay machine when you arrive.
Camping at Smith Rock
There is plush tent camping at the state park bivouac area. Located on the canyon rim, the view can't be beat! There are no designated sites or reservations, but you can usually find a spot to pitch your tent even on busy days. Fires are prohibited; there is a cooking area with picnic tables where camp stoves can be used. The price is $8 per person, which includes a hot shower, plumbed restroom facilities, and a parking pass for the next day. No RV's or travel trailers are permitted, and campers cannot sleep in their vehicles.
Pay camping is available eight miles from the state park at Skull Hollow campground (call for directions). There is no running water, but there are picnic tables and fire pits. The restrooms are outhouses. Skull Hollow campground charges $10 per night for a single site (up to six people), plus $5 for extra vehicles, so if you have a larger group this could save money.
Smith Rock Weather
The climate in central Oregon is ideal for climbing! It is easy to find either shade or sun, and conditions can be perfect in any season. We have hot summers, cold winters, and crisp conditions in the spring and fall. Rainfall in the central Oregon high desert is significantly less than in other parts of the state. When it does rain, it is usually a brief shower, and normally doesn't interfere with climbing. Regardless, we have the best rain/snow refund policy anywhere!
What to bring
Clothing - Be sure to wear comfortable clothes that will not restrict movement. Cargo pants, capris, or mid-thigh length shorts work great. Layering works good if the weather turns cold. We recommend bringing a light base layer (such as a t-shirt), then one or more insulating layers and perhaps a windbreak, depending on the season. Be sure to wear footwear you are comfortable hiking and scrambling in, for approaching climbs.
Food and water - Food is not provided, so be sure to bring enough for the day. We also recommend you bring at least two liters of water per person for a full day trip.
Gear - Bring a daypack for carrying food, water, camera, sunscreen, etc. If you do not have one we can provide a pack for you. We also supply all necessary climbing equipment, unless you prefer to use your own.
All participants must sign a waiver before we climb. Minors will need this form signed by their parent or legal guardian. The forms can be downloaded here or they can be provided when you arrive.
Half-day trips are 4.5 hours from the time we meet until you are back at your vehicle, allowing time for the 10-15 minute walk to the main climbing area.
Full-day trips have no time limits as long as we are back by dusk.
Meeting Time / Location
Most trips meet in the overflow parking area. This can be seen on the Smith Rock State Park map. If otherwise, your Guide will make arrangements before you arrive. We have a large white truck and trailer with our name and logos; you can't miss us.
We can meet anytime after 8:00am. For half-day trips during hot weather, we recommend meeting either in the morning (8-9:00) or afternoon (2-3:30) in order to take advantage of cooler temps / shade in the climbing area. For full-day trips the meeting time is less important, since we have more time to follow the shade.
A day of rock climbing is the perfect family activity, and is something the kids will love telling their friends about. We have specialized equipment for small children, and commonly take kids as young as four out climbing. As for a maximum age, if you can still make it up a ladder, there is plenty at Smith you can climb!
Glossary of Climbing Terms
Not sure about some of the technical language used on this site? Check our Rock Climbing Glossary.
We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.