Smith Rock Summit Trail Loop
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Smith Rock State Park is popular with hikers and bikers for a reason! The towering cliffs and the lush Crooked River are candy for the eyes. And the riding isn’t too bad either, though you will have to contend with a few hikers on the trail to get to the goods.
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Route Description for Smith Rock Summit Trail Loop
From the Visitor Centre descend the Canyon Trail to the river. Cross the bridge then turn right onto the Wolf Tree Trail. This first section of the trail can be very busy, however after a few minutes of riding along the delightful single track beside the river, the crowds will thin, and your smile will grow.
As you cycle along beside the river the trail remains quite flat, and there are a few difficult features. However, we recommend you stop frequently to take photos of the gorgeous scenery. Behind you, the stunning cliffs of Misery Ridge will dominate the view.
In under a 1.6 km you will reach a junction where you will have to turn left onto the Burma Road Trail. Here you are faced with a seemingly impossibly steep climb. Most people will have to walk here, as not only is the trail steep but also technical and loose.
Don’t worry, as soon you reach Burma Road itself, it becomes a dirt double track trail. This path continues climbing all the way to a visible notch up to your left. Exposed to the sun for most of the day, this climb can feel super challenging, even though the trail is not super technical.
After reaching the notch, take a well-deserved break and enjoy the view. To the northwest you will see the incredible Mt. Hood, and to the west the Three Sisters. These incredible peaks are snow covered for most of the year, and offer stunning contrast to the desert you have been riding in.
Take the trail to the left off of the road and start descending the opposite side of the notch, switch backing down a steep trail. These switchbacks are a fun challenge, and offer good variety from the smooth, fast berms in the Phil’s Trailhead Complex closer to bend. After half a dozen or so switchbacks the trail will straighten out and let you pick up more speed.
You will traverse through a sparse pine forest all the way back to the Crooked River, rarely gaining elevation. Once you reach the river the number of hikers will definitely increase, and the scenery will become much more lush. Continuing beside the river you will undulate up and down, never gaining or losing too much elevation.
Follow the River Trail, continuing straight at the two junctions all the way around back to the bridge. Cross the bridge and climb back up to your vehicle.
Insider Hints for Smith Rock Summit Trail Loop
- This trail is popular with hikers. Watch out for them and slow down when passing.
- Smith rock is a world-renowned climbing mecca. Hire a guide to experience this incredible vertical world in a whole new way.
Getting to the Smith Rock Summit Trail Loop Trailhead
Head north from Bend along highway 97 for 38.6 km. Once you enter Terrebonne, turn right onto Smith Rock Way, following signs for Smith Rock State Park. In half a mile turn left onto 1st street, then in 3.2 km turn left onto Crooked River Dr — all the way following signs for Smith Rock State Park. Park near the Visitor Centre. Don’t forget to get a parking pass, as day visitors require a permit.
Smith Rock Summit Trail Loop Elevation Graph
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