Smith Rock’s Summit Trail Loop hike

Bend
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Smith Rock’s Summit Trail Loop hike

Distance: 7.8mi
Elevation: 1,230ft
Time: 2.5-4h

Difficulty Rating:

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8.5 Overall Rating
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Hiking around the stunning Smith Rock State Park is popular for a reason! This wonderful trek near Bend circumnavigates the entire park and provides awesome views of towering cliffs and the beautiful Crooked River while avoiding crowds. 

Smith Rock’s Summit Trail Loop hike Map

Getting there

Head north from Bend along US-97 for 24.0mi. At Terrebonne, turn right onto Smith Rock Way, following signs for Smith Rock State Park. Turn left onto Lambert Road and follow this for 2.0mi, before turning left onto Crooked River Drive. Park near the visitor center.

I’ve done this 7 people have done this
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About

When to do

Most of the year when snow free

Backcountry Campsites

None

Toilets

At trailhead

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Low

Route Type

Circuit


Smith Rock’s Summit Trail Loop
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Smith Rock’s Summit Trail Loop hike

From the visitor center, descend the Canyon Trail to the river. Cross the bridge and then turn right onto Wolf Tree Trail. This first section of the trail can be very busy, but after a few minutes of hiking along the delightful single track beside the river, the crowds will thin and your smile will grow.

The trail remains flat and easy along the river, but we do advise that you look back frequently, as the views of the cliffs of Smith Rock are incredible. In less than a 1.0mi, you will reach a junction where you will have to turn left onto the Burma Road Trail. This trail, which leads to an old Jeep road, is incredibly steep and loose, so take it slow.

Once you reach Burma Road, you will start the main climb of the trip. Though quite well leveled, the road is exposed to sun for most of the day, which can make the climb feel super difficult. You will climb all the way up to the visible notch.

After reaching the notch, take a well-deserved break and enjoy the view. To the northwest you will see Mt. Jefferson, and to the west are the Three Sisters. These incredible peaks are snow-covered most of the year and are a real contrast to the dry environment along much of the trail.

Take the trail to the left of the road and descend the opposite side of the notch, switchbacking down a steep trail. After half a dozen or so switchbacks, the trail will straighten out and continue east. There are a number of spots that offer good views. Take advantage of these turnoffs to appreciate the grandeur of Smith.

You will walk through a spare pine forest back to the Crooked River, rarely gaining elevation. Once you reach the river, the number of hikers will increase, and the scenery will become lusher. As it follows along the river, the trail doesn’t gain or lose too much elevation.

Follow the River Trail, continuing straight at the two junctions back to the bridge. Cross the bridge and climb back up to your vehicle.

Insider Hints

  • Smith Rock can get unbelievably hot during the summer months. Consider doing this hike either early in the morning or during the spring or fall.

  • Smith Rock is a world-renowned climbing mecca. Hire a guide to experience this incredible vertical world in a whole new way.

  • Don’t forget to get a parking pass, as day visitors need a permit.

Comments

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BlueMountains 2 months ago

This is a stunning hike. Plenty of wildlife around the river to spot. Tons of small birds.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Kristina Norm 2 months ago

Smith Rocks Summit was a good moderate hike, that did make me work for the awards.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Annie Smith 2 months ago

Smith Rock was a great hike, it definitely helps that we started early in the day!

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Ronny 3 months ago

Smith Rocks is not easy. This hike was really hot. We had to lay low for a while until the weather changed a bit. It was too hot and not a cloud in the sky. We started a bit late. Would recommend going really early or late afternoon.

7.0 Overall Rating
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4h 30m Time Taken
4 Comments

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