Smith Rock State Park – Tips and Images

Smith Rock State Park Oregon tips and images @handbookofnaturestudy

Smith Rock State Park

Terrebonne, Oregon


This is an amazing place to visit if you’re ever in the Bend, Oregon area. We had a free day when our daughter was visiting from New York and we were searching for a place to do some day hiking. Smith Rock State Park isn’t far from our new house so we packed up some lunches and water and set off fairly early on a Saturday morning. The weather was sunny and warm so lots of other people had the same idea of getting outside to enjoy the day.

The parking lot was nearly full but we did manage to score a slot in the grassy area. There is a day use fee of $5 that you can pay at the self-serve station in the parking area.

Here is a link to the home page for Smith Rock State Park.

Smith Rock State Park @handbookofnaturestudy

We visited the information center before choosing our hike. We were hoping to find a trail that took us along the river and where we could get a good look at the canyon. The ranger showed us just the right trail! You can check out the brochure before visiting: Climbing and Trail Guide.

Smith Rock State Park @handbookofnaturestudy

Not only did we hike down to the river and then alongside it, we were able to see a lot of people rock climbing just off the path. According to the website and brochure, there are over 1,000 climbing routes at Smith Rock. We observed people of all ages climbing up the steep rocks using ropes. I’m not at all interested in rock climbing but it was a treat to stop a few times and watch the truly amazing things people can accomplish as they spider their way up the rocks.

Smith Rock State Park @handbookofnaturestudy


I love wildflowers and now that we are in our new habitat, I can start learning about the flowers that are found here. The flower above is Lewis flax. Isn’t it an amazing color? Since spying this at Smith Rock, I realized there is a patch just around the corner from my house so I’ve been better able to study it up close since this initial discovery.

Smith Rock State Park @handbookofnaturestudy

It was actually quite warm in the sun as we hiked but the sound of water in the river made it much more bearable. Our dog took several opportunities to jump in and swim to cool off.

We had a picnic sitting on a rock when we found a viewpoint about a mile and a half down the trail. We watched a duck pair and their babies as they paddled in a small eddy along the river. Earlier we were able to get a good look at an eagle, its nest and its baby. There was a ranger with a spotting scope that shared this incredible sight with us. He was there all day…we know because we saw him on the way in and then on our way back. What a great opportunity for so many hikers to see the eagles thanks to this patient ranger.

Smith Rock State Park @handbookofnaturestudy

We all declared this a fantastic hike and we look forward to doing it again soon! My daughter even said it’s in her top favorite places to hike now, which made me so glad that we made the effort to get out and do this hike together.

Smith Rock State Park @handbookofnaturestudy

I love living in Oregon!


You can read more about our Oregon State Park adventures in this entry:

Posts from Other Oregon Parks

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Garden Snails

Outdoor Hour Challenge Snail Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Garden Snail Study

From the archives and the More Nature Study – Spring ebook

“Perchance if those who speak so glibly of a ‘snail’s pace’ should study it, they would not sneer at it, for, carefully observed, it seems to be one of the most wonderful methods of locomotion ever devised by animal….The snail carries his dwelling with him, and retires within it in time of danger. He can climb on any smooth surface.”

Handbook of Nature Study

Use the ideas in the link above to learn more about garden snails from the Handbook of Nature Study. There are so many interesting things to learn about snails and nearly all of us have access to snails for an up close study. Make sure to watch the videos linked in the original challenge!

Hope you have a fun week of nature study!

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Note to Ultimate and Journey level members on the Handbook of Nature Study: You have access to the August 2016 newsletter that had the theme: Invertebrates-Snails. Make sure to download and use the ideas in that newsletter to supplement your snail study!

Wildflower Series Set #2 Coming Soon!


OHC Wildflower Set 2 @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Nature Study Set #2

Don’t miss the special promotion code at the bottom of this email!

It’s time for a new set of wildflower challenges! I have been busy working on a brand new set of five wildflower challenges to post over the next few months. I will have the ebook ready by 6/20/17.

Please note the notebooking pages will only be available to ebook users and the ebook will be available for those that have an Ultimate or Journey level membership.

Wildflowers Included in Set #2

  • Henbit
  • Cow Parsnip
  • Columbine
  • Chicory
  • Cocklebur

This new ebook will be loaded into the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships soon!

Ultimate Naturalist Library @handbookofnaturestudy

If you aren’t a member yet, you still have time to join and have immediate access as soon as it publishes.

As a special promo, you can use the discount code WILDFLOWER5 for $5 off the Ultimate Naturalist Membership.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Membership

Join us later in June for this exciting series of nature study challenges!