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Smith Rock, Misery Ridge Hiking Trail

Smith Rock, Misery Ridge Hiking Trail, OR

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Rock ClimbingBird WatchingBig Vistas (Viewpoints)Hiking (moderate)
Region: 
Central Oregon
Total distance: 
3.80 miles
Trailhead elev.: 
2,880 ft.
Net elev. gain: 
700 ft.
Trail type: 
There-and-back/Loop
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Road condition: 
Paved
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

Pros: 
Panoramic views. Relatively short. Nearby camping.
Cons: 
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.

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