If you enjoy camping in a remote, scenic beauty, Smith Rock State Park is a great option. The campground offers a large variety of amenities for walk-in camping (no RV camping, sleeping in vehicles, or open fires allowed). The scenic views of deep river canyons surrounded by thousands of climbing opportunities, hiking, and mountain biking trails, have earned this campground the most scenic camping spots in Oregon award. The golden eagles, prairie falcons, river otters, and beavers are commonly spotted.

Smith Rock State Park encompasses 651 acres on the Oregon high desert plateau at about a 3000 foot elevation. The park is open year-round with options for camping or day use. The spectacular views capture stunning photos for aspiring photographers and lend the perfect backdrop for just about any adventure, especially climbing the major rock faces composed of compressed volcanic rock. According to the Oregon State Parks guide, there are over 1800 climbing routes ranging in difficulty and some of the best rock climbing found worldwide.

Cost: $5/per person, per night; $5 day-use (obtain camping permits at the fee station at the Bivouac camping area entrance).

Facilities: flush toilets, showers, picnicking, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, and day-use; campfires not permitted year round.

For a truly breathtaking view of the vertical walls bordering the Crooked River, head out 3 miles north on Hwy 97 to Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Wayside, and soak in the amazing sights.

Photos: by Chris Aper

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.