Scenic USA - Oregon

Crooked River

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Crooked River - Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne, Oregon

Photos by Denny Barnes
Denny Barnes Photography

   There's a good reason it's called the Crooked River, and here at Smith Rock State Park Rock Climber - Smith Rock State Park, Oregon the river's snake-like twists and turns are very evident. Known internationally among rock climbers, Smith Rock continues as the supreme challenge in sport climbing. The 1000 foot Summit, surrounded by a hairpin meander of Crooked River, calls for technique and physical abilities, rather than the skills of a high attitude climb. Labels vary from easy to extreme, as 1600 routes have been established in and around the park.
   Located near Terrebonne on a high desert plateau in eastern Oregon, hikers, bikers and horseback riders join the rock climbers in this 650 acre recreation area. Park hikers follow along the river and up and over the cliffs of welded tuff Dirt tracks and foot trails - Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne, Oregon (a compressed ryholite ash). A loop trail, which follows the river valley and Burma Road, is bisected by a challenging route that crosses the river and leads up to the Red Wall and Misery Ridge, under Monkey Face and back down into the river valley.
   The park's striking landscape has been recreated over the last millennium. Thick deposits of volcanic ash and lava flows were laid down millions of years ago, only to be chipped and worn away by frost wedging, windblown sands and the powerful forces of the Crooked River. An especially scenic place, this park is filled with niches to explore and many challenging hiking trails.

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