Smith: The Four Horsemen

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 44.36680°N / 121.13631°W
Additional Information County: Deschutes
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 3000 ft / 914 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The Four Horsemen Formation is a collection of four spires sitting atop the Misery Ridge between the Morning Glory Wall and The Dihedrals. This small wall is dense with high quality routes - both traditional and sport. The Fourth Horseman is the most impressive of the spires with its river-face that hosts several high quality cracks (most two pitches in length) including Pack Animal (5.8), Calamity Jam (5.10c), Crack of Infinity (5.10b, or 5.10a w. variation), and Friday's Jinx (5.7) to name a few. With the exception of Equus (5.11b), none of the river-side routes top out on the Fourth Horseman. When viewed from the river, a 4th class gully on the left separates this formation from The Dihedrals (Headless Horseman, 5.10d, bolts is the leftmost route on the riverside of the formation). The right edge of the formation is defined by a huge "boulder" called The Peanut (with several bolted routes on it) sitting at the base of a 4th class gully (beyond is the Morning Glory Wall). The rightmost line on the riverside of The Four Horsemen is Sunday's Jinx (5.7).

Getting There

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 ($5 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. Follow the river-side trail past Ship Rock (chossy looking, dark color tower on your right) and the Morning Glory Wall. Find a well established trail heading up and right from the river trail (before you reach the latrine), see photo for the river side view of the formation.

Red Tape

The park charges $5 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. East facing Four Horsemen formation is generally a good choice for cooler days before noon or for afternoon climbs on hot summer days. 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.

Mountain Conditions

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.

Peak Bagging

All four spires (five actually as there's one more minor "spike") that make up the formation have been climbed. All summit routes (except for Equus which climbs to the top of the Fourth Horseman from the river side) start on the Misery Ridge plateau which can be reached via most routes on the river side of the Fourth Horseman, many routes in the Dihedrals, or from the west side via a scramble up the 4th class descent gully for Spiderman Buttress (or any routes that top out on Spiderman Buttress). Summit routes are as follows (taken directly from Watts' guidebook): First Horseman: 5.7 R, gear to 2 inches. Jam miniature dihedral and scramble up an unprotected face. Downclimb route as there are no rap anchors on top. Second Horseman: 5.6 R, no gear. Climb wide chimney to top. Downclimb route as there are no rap anchors on top. Third Horseman: 5.10b R, no gear. Summit is gained quickly after an unprotected boulder move on the north side. Downclimb route as there are no rap anchors on top. Fourth Horseman: 5.7 R, gear to 2.5 inches. Climb up an unremarkable chimney on the north side. Rap from anchors on the south side just below the summit. Riderless Horse: 5.7 X, no gear. A 20 foot spike just north of the Second Horseman. Downclimb route to get down.


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.



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Smith Rock CragsMountains & Rocks