Adventures in Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Known as the birthplace of sport climbing in the U.S., Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon is a popular destination for rock-climbers of all skill levels.

There are thousands of climbing routes in the area, ranging from natural boulder problems to traditional climbing routes. And the sunny weather—around 300 days of sunshine a year—brings optimal climbing conditions year-round. With the park offering varied rock-types, like tall faces of volcanic tuff and the crack-filled basalt columns, climbers can set up camp for a weekend and have a plethora of climbing options at their fingertips. For complete beginners, climbing guides are available in the area.

Many pay the park a visit for reasons other than climbing, such as mountain biking, hiking, seeing wildlife and simply appreciating the magnificence of one of the “Seven Wonders of Oregon.” Opportunities to go golfing, caving, paddleboarding on the Deschutes River and skiing on Mount Bachelor are also all in the vicinity.

To learn more about making a trip to Smith Rock, go to oregonstateparks.org. If you’re not into camping, find an array of accommodations at visitcentraloregon.com.