Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Pictured: Smith Rock, Crooked RiverWhile Smith Rock is certainly an impressive monolith, with the climbing routes on "Monkey Face" being famous, the Crooked River surrounding Smith Rock really completes the scene.
The 4 mile loop (there is a more demanding 6.3 mile loop available) hike along the river and up over the top of Smith Rock is mostly a level hike. The half mile near the end of the trail up to Misery Ridge is very difficult. The ball bearing descent from the ridge is no picnic either. Your speed up and down "Misery" will be one mile-per-hour or less. Only two notes for direction are needed: After crossing the river bridge initially, go left for best views. At the 2 1/2 mile mark, one trail continues straight along the river. Your trail turns right here and switchbacks up Misery Ridge. You should at this point be on the back side of "Monkey Face". Watching the vertical climbers on the front of this favorite is a highlight.
Mid-summer is very hot here.
The access to Smith Rock State Park (fee area) is from Rt. 97 in Terrebonne, Or., which is north of Redmond.
William Sullivan (ISBN 0-9677830-1-1, Navillus Press) does a good job on hike description.
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