Monday, January 01, 2007

Smith Rock State Park, Central Oregon

The Crooked River runs through it. Rock walls jut from it. A giant monkey head watches over it. The park is quite a place.

My first time there, I never got farther than the parking lot overlook because of lack of time. Remains of a recent wildfire in the park were still very evident. I'd drive out again, even for just a look--it is that spectacular.

The second time, we took the trail along the river, an easy hike, but it was so blistering hot that the dogs refused to move--we ended up carrying them for half a mile. That half-mile, unfortunately, included the only tough portion of the river hike--back up to the overlook.

Finally, trip number three, to make our experience of the park complete, we hiked over Misery Ridge. Need I say more about that event?

To get there, drive Highway 97 six miles north of Redmond, Oregon to Terrebonne. Turn east off the highway, following the signs for the park for 3.3 miles. State park fees apply here.

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