If you have read the other pages on this website, you already know that Smith Rock State Park is probably one of my favorite places in Central Oregon. We try to visit at least two or three times a year, and we try to go at different times of the year to see what Smith Rock looks like in the different seasons, and it never seems to look the same. Different lighting, different seasons make Smith Rock a great place to visit. We also try to go at different times of the day as well. If you are looking to capture the perfect photo of Smith Rock from the viewing area before you walk down to the valley floor, you should go early in the morning because the lighting us usually better for that photograph. So grab your CamelBak, other Hydration Pack or Hydro Flask, check out some hiking tips, and get ready for a nice hike, and beautiful scenery!
Our normal thing to do when visiting the park is to hike down to the river, cross the bridge and turn left and just wander along the River Trail and look at the wildlife, rock climbers and the beautiful rock formations at Smith Rock. Or, on occasions when we felt up to it, we would hike the Misery Ridge Trail.
One trail we had never hiked until the summer of 2015 was the Wolf Tree Trail. To get to that trail you cross the bridge at the river and turn right. You will see the sign for the Misery Ridge Trail on your left, but just continue on the trail and you will also come to a sign marking the beginning of the Wolf Tree Trail as well.
Wolf Tree Trail Photo Gallery
View photo gallery of the Wolf Tree Trail at Smith Rock State Park.
The Wolf Tree Trail is an easy hike that winds along the Crooked River, and since it takes you away from the main part of the park it is also less traveled, so you will usually not run across as many people as you will on other trails. You can just hike the Wolf Tree Trail to Student Wall, which is a popular climbing location, or you can continue up the Burma Road which will take you on one of the newer trails in Smith Rock State Park, the Summit Trail loop. The Summit Trail loop is about eight miles, and is strenuous as it climbs up about 1,000 feet over the next 1.75 miles. I have never hiked that trail, but it is on my list of things to do.
Since we got a late start, and were not really prepared for a hike as long as the Summit Trail loop, we just took our time and strolled along the river taking photos and enjoying the scenery and viewing the wildlife, and ended our hike near Student Wall and ate our lunch at a nice spot along the river.
As you hike along the Wolf Tree Trail you have wonderful views of the tuff and basalt rock formations that make Smith Rock State Park so famous, and you may also get to see some of the wildlife that calls the park home. It is not unusual to see geese, ducks, hawks, otters in the river, and a few blue herons. If you are lucky you may even see some golden eagles in the area.
For more hiking trails at Smith Rock and in Central Oregon, check out the Hike Central Oregon website.
Smith Rock hiking trails
View a PDF of Smith Rock State Park
Due to the uniqueness and fragile aspect of the park, park rangers enforce the animal leash law and strongly encourage all park users to stay on trails.
$5 daily day-use fee or buy a 12-month permit for $30 or a 24-month permit for $50. These 1- and 2-year permits are good at all state park day-use areas.
Walk-in bivouac camp (no fires allowed). Campsites are first-come, first-served. Call (541) 548-7501 or (800) 551-6949 for information.
Note: Open fires prohibited at all times. There is a designated place for cooking with propane and white gas stoves. Cooking is not allowed anywhere else in the park. Gas lanterns are also prohibited. Smoking is only allowed in vehicles.