Odds are that if you have ever visited Smith – be it for a day or as part of an extended climbing road trip – you have climbed something on this 350-foot tall chunk of rock. Whether you’re part of the 5.14- elite (multiple 5.13d’s and some 5.14 projects according to Watts) or just an average weekend-warrior type, quality climbs await you on this wall. The wall faces south (river side) and curves around to face east on the Cocaine Gully side. It attains its maximum height of about 350 feet on the river face and progressively diminishes to nothing as you hike up (class 2-3) the Cocaine Gully to its top. Alan Watts in his guidebook includes the following areas as part of his Morning Glory Wall chapter: Rolling Stone Wall (left side of Cocaine Gully), Churning Buttress (southeast corner of the wall), Overboard Area, Zebra Area (these last two face south or the river), The Peanut, The Four Horsemen, and Rope De Dope Block. These last three are not integral parts of the wall and are not included in this page: gullies separate the main wall from The Four Horsemen and The Peanut; and Crooked River separates the main wall from Rope De Dope block. The former two have their own dedicated page on summitpost (both are under The Four Horsemen). For the mere mortal (your average sub-5.12 climber) the Wall is known predominantly for one route: Zebra-Zion – a four pitch crack and face climbing extravaganza on perfect rock and probably the best of what the park has to offer in the <5.11 multi-pitch. If you are going to do two routes at Smith, this should be one of them (the other should be something on Monkey Face – tailor your choice depending on climbing ability).
Before You Add A Route:
Note that your favorite “Dihedrals Area” route might not be on Morning Glory Wall. As you face the wall from the river or from Cocaine Gully (looking north or west), the leftmost route on it (per Watts) is Tammy Bakker’s Face (2 pitch 5.10c bolts) while the rightmost route (most uphill in Cocaine Gully according to Watts) is Stand And Deliver (1 pitch 5.12c bolts). All routes (except for Rope De Dope Block) that fall in between these two locations should be added as part of this page. Formation immediately to the left (west) of Morning Glory Wall is The Peanut/The Four Horsemen; formation immediately to the right is the West Ship.
Listed "summit" elevation is a guesstimate.
Smith Rock State Park is located outside the town of Terrebonne, Oregon (approximately 30 miles north of Bend) off of US highway 97. Those who wish to fly in usually do so via Portland, OR about 3 hours driving time (140 miles) northwest of Terrebonne.
Take US 97 to the town of Terrebonne. Turn east onto B Avenue which shortly becomes Smith Rock way (there are signs for Smith on US 97). Follow the road past railroad tracks and down the hill to a signed intersection (approx. 0.75 miles from 97). Make a left onto NE 1st Ave. which then becomes NE Wilcox Ave. Follow it for about 1 mile to another signed junction with Crooked River Drive. Turn left toward Smith. Follow this road (passing the entrance into Smith Rock campground) until you see a roadside parking area on your left. Pay the day use fee ($3 per car per day) at the vending machine (or at the self issue station located in the driveway to the campground) and don't forget to leave a copy on your dashboard. The parking area has a public restroom and vending machines. Stopping at the above-mentioned billboard in the driveway into the state campground (you can pay the day use fee there as well as camping fee if staying overnight at the campground) is generally a good idea since it will allow you to see if there are any pertinent route closures. Follow the trail down hill toward the bridge over the Crooked River below. Cross the bridge and turn left on the river trail heading in the general direction of Asterisk Pass. Stay on river trail as it passes Ship Rock (the 250-foot chunk of dark brown choss) and then The Wooden Ships formations (East followed by West) separated from each other by Aggro Gully and from Morning Glory Wall by Cocaine Gully.
If you’re headed for any of the areas on the wall other than The Rolling Stone Wall, use one of the nice, established park trails to reach the base of the wall from the river trail. Once at the base, there’s a wide thoroughfare traversing the entire base of the formation.
If you’re headed for The Rolling Stone Wall located up the Cocaine Gully, make your way to the base of the main wall (see above) and traverse right to the extreme right side of the mouth of Cocaine Gully. Enter a cave/chimney and squirm your way up to the other side (class 3). From here, a well-beaten climbers’ trail will take you up the Cocaine Gully along the base of the wall. Note that this also provides a hiking option (one of them) to the top of the formation.
The park charges $3 per vehicle per day to park at the state parking lot. The park is "open" from dawn to dusk (or about 10 pm in the summer). The consequences of staying past "closing time" are unclear and some climbers do "moonlight climbing".
The park allows dogs but is very strict as to keeping them leashed (fine = $94) and requests that you clean up after them.
New regulation, as of March 1st, 2003: Owners of unattended dogs left tied in at the base of climbs will be given a citation.
When To Climb
The park is officially open year round (though shower facilities at the campground are turned off in winter time). Climbing can be uncomfortably hot in the summer and snow often blankets the rocks in the winter. Spring and Fall are ideal as the temperatures are moderate and the east side of Oregon's Cascade Mountains is generally dry.
In addition, note that the main portion of the wall receives sun for a better part of the day making it a good choice during winter/cool weather days (and a stone oven in mid-summer heat).
Check with the park (or by calling one of the climbing shops below) for seasonal route closures due to falcon nesting. You will most likely be ticketed if you break the rules here as the locals often keep an active watch of the crags during closure periods.
Smith Rock State Park operates a campground that overlooks the crags (see directions above under Getting There section). The campground has bathrooms and shower facilities (showers available summertime only) as wells as some communal picnic tables. Sleeping in cars is not permitted. The campground charges $4 per person per night (this will also allow you to spend a day enjoying Smith without having to pay the additional $3 day use fee).
In addition, there is a free campground (BLM operated?) approx. 7 miles from the main parking area for Smith. Directions to this campground: Skull Hollow Campground. This information was provided by Brian Jenkins.
Want to spend your time at Smith in the lap of luxury? This is especially nice during late/winter/early season outings when the days are short and nights are long. The Hub Motel in Redmond offers clean rooms (shower, fridge, cable included!) for $35/night (double occupancy). This price is most likely a "special" for climbers so be sure to smile at the nice folks in the main office and let them know the purpose of your visit. The motel (huge red neon sign) is located on the left hand side of US97 on the northern outskirts of Redmond, approximately 6 miles south of Terrebonne.
Smith Rock is part of the Oregon state park system. The official (though not very useful for climbers) website is here. A more useful Smith website is here.
Redpoint Climbers Supply store located on the corner of US 97 and B Avenue (the turnoff to Smith) offers not only a complete selection of climbing paraphenelia but is a great place to inquire about route conditions including details such as bolt conditions and route closures (800-923-6207 or 541-923-6207, hours vary with weather and season). This is also the place to purchase the guidebook supplement (New Sh!tuff at Smith). It's OUT OF PRINT now. Rockhard store is another option for route beta and climbing supplies. It is located about 100 yards before the campground driveway on Crooked River Drive.
Alan Watts lists 44 routes on the Wall (what sections make up the wall is described above in Overview section); Ryan Lawson lists 13 routes (total of 57 routes). Note that Projects mentioned in Watts book have not been included here.
Of the 57 total routes, 10 are 4-star classics and 23 are 3-star “worthwhiles”.
Of the 57 total routes, 23 are 5.12 and higher in difficulty (of those 11 are 5.13 and higher); only 9 routes have single digit ratings (of those the easiest is a 5.7 no-star choss pile).
Of the 57 total routes, only 6 are multi-pitch and only 8 are traditionally-protected lines.
Moral of the story here is that the bulk of the routes are hard, bolted, single pitch “classics”.
Alan Watts’ Climber’s Guide to Smith Rock is of course the definitive text on the entire park. The book is one of the finest climbing guidebooks ever written. Ryan Lawson’s “supplement” guidebook (New Sh!tuff at Smith) contains descriptions for a good number of (relatively) newly added sport routes on the wall many of which have become classics (the single pitch Five Gallon Buckets 5.7 comes to mind here – it sees non-stop traffic – rain or shine!).
Smith Rock Restaurant in Terrebonne (behind a hardware store) is a great choice for after-climbing "pig-outs". The service is outstanding and food very good - both dinners and breakfasts. Note that it's closed Sunday afternoons.
Burger Works in downtown Madras (20 miles north of Terrebonne) is not to be missed for their top-notch marionberry milk shakes. These are THE best milk shakes we've ever had - PERIOD. The place is located on the east/south-bound side of US26/97 in Madras. They also serve decent burgers and very good grilled hot dogs.