Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Trail type
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

If you are visiting Smith Rock State Park and are short on time, the River Trail is a good option. The trail follows the banks of the Crooked River as it winds around the park, and it is a modest alternative to the more challenging Misery Ridge Trail. You’ll walk near and around the park's welded tuff rock formations that are composed of eroded and compressed volcanic ash.  The river banks are home to numerous wintering waterfowl including Canada geese and mallards, and you may also see red-winged blackbirds, bald eagles and golden eagles.  If you can, follow the river downstream to the western side of the park to Monkey Face, the 450-foot rock pillar that hosts one of the park’s most challenging climbing routes.

Note that the only camping in the park is at the Bivouac Campground, which is a walk-in camping area that does not accommodate RVs or car camping.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Fee


Walk along the scenic river. Nearby rock climbing.


Mid-summer heat. Heavy use.

Trailhead Elevation

2,880.00 ft (877.82 m)


Rock climbing
Bird watching
Big vistas

Suitable for




A nice, gentle hike with plenty of features to check out!.
For a cold and cloudy day in Central Oregon, there were still quite a few people out enjoying Smith Rock; hiking, climbing and bird watching.
This is a must-hike trail at Smith Rock. It is a relatively flat hike with a decent sized trail, making it accessible for really any hiker at any level. We connected up with this trail after coming down from Misery Ridge and it was the perfect end to our hike. Alternating shade and sun, alongside the river with views of the rocks and rock climbers was an awesome end to our day at Smith Rock.
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