Smith Rock, Misery Ridge Hiking Trail

Smith Rock, Misery Ridge Hiking Trail, OR

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Rock ClimbingBird WatchingBig Vistas (Viewpoints)Hiking (moderate)
Central Oregon
Total distance: 
3.80 miles
Trailhead elev.: 
2,880 ft.
Net elev. gain: 
700 ft.
Trail type: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Dogs allowed: 
Road condition: 
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
State Park Fee ($5.00)
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Tyson Gillard | 05.14.12
Panoramic view of Smith Rock and the Crooked River.

Trip Report

Panoramic views. Relatively short. Nearby camping.
Summer heat.

The Misery Ridge Trail in Smith Rock State Park is an exceptional day hike that provides a full tour of one of Oregon's most iconic natural areas.  From the trailhead, the trail descends into the Crooked River Gorge, crosses the park's only bridge, and then starts the climb to the top of the park's golden rock cliffs.  As you make your way through the switchbacks, watch the ground for sunbathing reptiles, and look for golden eagle aeries on the northern cliff walls.  Once you've reached the summit, roughly 700 feet above the river, you'll have a close view of the famous Monkey Face formation, and on clear days the Cascades are visible from Mount Jefferson to Broken Top.  Take the western route on your return to connect with the Mesa Verde Trail.  You'll pass Monkey Face and eventually connect with the River Trail to make a full loop out of the adventure. 

Mid-summer temperatures can become sweltering, so you may wish to avoid the mid-day sun.  Also, note that the only camping in the park is the walk-in camping at Bivouac Campground.


Nearby Lodging

Nearby Camping

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Comments + Trip Reports

01.13.15(Trip Date)

Oh Smith Rock, how I love thee. Very short drive for a day worth of adventuring. It would take a lifetime to discover all that Smith Rock has to offer. Misery Ridge Trail is worth the hike to the top, for the view. The only part of Smith Rock that I ever have issues with is the last bit of hike it takes to get out. I'm usually pretty well spent by that point, and I never want to leave.

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02.15.15(Trip Date)

Great hike if you've only got a couple of hours, plus beautiful views of the Cascade peaks. This park is very busy though, expect to have a hard time finding parking and lots of other hikers.

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