Jake McCrary

Climbing at and near Smith Rock, Oregon

Smith Rock

The goal was to climb at Smith Rock but the bridge to the main part of the park was under repair. The park discouraged folks from crossing the river without the bridge so Jenn and I did not climb in the main part of Smith Rock.

Getting to Smith Rock from Bend, Oregon was straight forward and if you forgot any equipment you can stop at Red Point on the way.


On Thursday, we climbed at the Rope de Dope block. This is a stand-alone cube on the parking lot side of the river at Smith Rock. We climbed here since we didn’t want to ford the river.

Even though you could see the more appealing walls across the river, climbing at Robe de Dope was great. The approach was easy and there was a good density of easier climbing. For a while, we were the only people climbing here.

We climbed:

All of the routes and grades are from the third edition of Alan Watts' guide book.

Friday and Saturday

Since we didn’t want to ford the river we opted out of climbing at Smith Rock proper and went to The Zoo. For better or worse, it reminded me a lot of climbing in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.

The Zoo is definitely more out of the way than Smith Rock. I would have felt better with a high clearance vehicle but we managed to get out there in our rental sedan. I can easily imagine the road requiring four-wheel drive depending on conditions.

The hike wasn’t that bad. It was mostly flat and beautiful.

At The Fourth Area crag, we climbed:

  • My Own Private Chosspile, 5.10a
  • A more Wretched Hive of Sum and Villainy, 5.9
  • Overbolted Pig Pen, 5.10a
  • Needs More Cowbell, 5.8
  • Maritodespotism, 5.10a

At Non-Aggro Gully

  • Don’s Original Dream, 5.9 (Jenn)
  • Don’s Dream, 5.10a (Jake)

At Across the Street:

  • Not a Crack Climb, 5.8
  • Pagan Solstice Ritual, 5.9

I think I’m missing some routes from the list. We also climbed some more than once.


The trip was great. I didn’t climb anything particularly challenging and it was fun. There is a place for cruising up routes.

The Smith Rock guidebook is great. The third edition replaces Alan Watts' hand drawn tops with photos, which is nice in many ways and a bit of a bummer in some. The routes are still drawn on though, with little bits of commentary written in at different parts of the wall.