Located northwest of The Marsupials and clearly visible from the turn-around circle at the end of the park road (North Point), Staender Ridge hosts a collection of appealing rock spires. The ridge sits atop the irrigation canal tunneled through the mountainside. The ridge formations include (south to north, or downhill to uphill): Adit Rock, Control Tower, Independence Tower, the Mole, Bette's Needles, Flattop, and Steander Summit. For the purpose of this page, French Tent Rock (which sits just west of the Staender Summit formation), Rotten Crack (a lone pinnacle on right or east side of ridge midway up the hillside), and The Dinosaur (a distinct looking formation sitting just east of Steander Summit) will also be included as these three host few routes and lie in close proximity to the Ridge. As with most formations at Smith, the rock quality ranges from excellent to horrible. Topping out on the formations requires anywhere from one to two pitches of climbing. Routes up to 5.12d ("Smut") can be found on Staender's Ridge with the vast majority being 5.9 and below. With the exception of Adit Rock (bottom-most) which is highly popular with organized groups, most other formations see little in the way of crowds - even on a busy spring or fall day solitude can be found here.
Elevation listed is an estimate. Information provided in this section is based on Alan Watts' guidebook to Smith.
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 you will see a pointer sign. Turn right following the direction for Burma Road (1 mile from this piont) along the river (don't climb uphill). Follow this river-side trail as it makes a large rightward arch. Once you reach a junction in the trail (shortly after passing beneath the foot of Juniper Spire and near an emergency evacuation basket hanging there), bear left and uphill via several switchbacks. Shortly before the trail tops out on the side of Burma Road (a narrow dirt road), look for a faint climbers' trail heading left and uphill toward the south-east side of Adit Rock. Follow this trail uphill to reach other formations on the Ridge (trail stays on the east or right side of the formations). Approach from parking lot to Adit Rock takes about 20-30 minutes; add another 15-20 minutes to reach higher formations on the Ridge.
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. 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) mentioned below. 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' guidebook is the primary reference for Smith Rock. Note that there has been much development of new routes (sport routes) on the Ridge particularly down lower on or near Adit Rock. Some of these routes are listed in the guidebook supplement (by R. Lawson) which can be purchased at the Red Point store (see above) in Terrebonne, OR. This latter booklet is now OUT OF PRINT
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
Single Pitch RoutesPeanuts
5.8, 50 feet. here
. Staender Summit formation. Gear: Standard rack up to 3 inches.
5.7, 50 feet. Not as bad as it sounds. here
. Staender Summit formation. Gear: Standard rack up to 3 inches.
5.6, 70 feet. Adit Rock. Gear: Standard rack up to 3 inches.
Parking Lot Crack
5.8, 60 feet. Adit Rock. Gear: Standard rack up to 3 inches with one or two OW-worthy cams for the top (crux) OW crack.
5.7, 35 feet. Located on downhill side of Adit Rock. Look for a roof ~30 feet above ground. Route climbs thin cracks to a stance below roof, then traverses (underclings and stems) via nice crack up and right beneanth the roof to a bolt anchor. Gear: Light rack up to #2 Camalot with two or three small to mid-sized nuts.
...Details on above coming soon...