How to Hike the Misery Ridge Trail Smith Rock State Park

How to Hike the Misery Ridge Trail Smith Rock State Park

Although Smith Rock State Park is famous for its rock climbing, it’s also a beautiful park to hike. It is after all one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders. The most popular hike and the best way to see the iconic parts of the park is through the Misery Ridge Trail Loop.

Misery Ridge Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com

Misery Ridge Trail
Hike Type: Loop
Distance: 3.8 miles
Elevation gain: 1000 feet
Difficulty: Difficult
Seasons: Year-round, except when snow or rain

DIRECTIONS FOR HIKING THE MISERY RIDGE TRAIL

From the Welcome Center, follow the Smith Rock Trailhead down to the Crooked River Bridge. After crossing the bridge, you’ll see a sign that marks the Misery Ridge Trail. You will immediately start gaining elevation up the switchbacks and oversized stairs. You’ll also see a few small cave-like areas that were created from air bubbles caught in compressed volcanic ash. After reaching a flat spot for about .1 of a mile, you’ll start to climb again until you reach the summit. It’s about 0.75 miles from the bridge to the Misery Ridge Summit.

Misery Ridge Trail Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comMisery Ridge Trail Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com
Misery Ridge Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comMisery Ridge Hike Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com

Once you’re at the top, enjoy the views. There’s an open rock which gives you amazing views to the east and the south. If you continue along the trail, there will be some offshoots that give you other vantage points. When you’re ready, continue following the signs to the other side of the mountain.

Smith Rock State Park Oregon // localadventurer.comSmith Rock State Park is one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders. It’s a premier sport climbing destination and has some of the best hikes in Oregon with stunning views. Find out everything you need to know about the park here // localadventurer.comSmith Rock Misery Ridge Trail - iconic hike in Smith Rock State Park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comSmith Rock Misery Ridge Trail - iconic hike in Smith Rock State Park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com
Misery Ridge Trail Smith Rock Hike - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com Misery Ridge Trail Smith Rock Hike - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com
Smith Rock Misery Ridge Trail - iconic hike in Smith Rock State Park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comSmith Rock Misery Ridge Trail - iconic hike in Smith Rock State Park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com

You can take a mini-detour and go left at this sign to get to an amazing photo spot. If you’re afraid of heights like me, you should be cautious since it is very exposed. I pretty much crawled.

Misery Ridge Smith Rock Trails in Oregon - this is an iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comMisery Ridge Smith Rock Hike - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comMisery Ridge Trail Loop Smith Rock State Park Oregon - Smith Rock in Oregon is a great place to go rock climbing. It’s the birthplace of sport climbing in the US, but also offers great Oregon Hikes. See the ultimate guide to the park here // localadventurer.com

Before descending, you’ll get a great overlook of Monkey Face. You can even follow the trail down to the left to come face to face with it. You can also see a lot of Oregon’s Cascade peaks on clear days, including Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Mount Bachelor.

Monkey Face Smith Rock State Park Oregon - Misery Ridge Trail is the iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com
Monkey Face Smith Rock State Park Oregon - Misery Ridge Trail is the iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com

The trail back down is steep and you will eventually meet up with Mesa Verde Trail at the base of Monkey Face. Head left on the trail and follow it along the hill. In another half mile or so, you’ll meet with River Trail, which will take you on an easy stroll along the river until you get back to the Crooked River Bridge. When you’re ready, head back uphill to your car.

Misery Ridge Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comRiver Trail - Misery Ridge Loop Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com
River Trail - Misery Ridge Loop Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comSmith Rock State Park is one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders. It’s a premier sport climbing destination and has some of the best hikes in Oregon with stunning views. Find out everything you need to know about the park here // localadventurer.com

PRO TIPS FOR HIKING THE MISERY RIDGE TRAIL

  • In the summer, it gets really hot (can reach 100+ degrees)! Try doing the hike early morning or late afternoon. It is the most strenuous hike in the park, so please hike responsibly and bring plenty of water.
  • The area is home to a lot of rattlesnakes. Be careful around shaded or hidden areas, and check any small caves before entering.
  • You will most likely come across a lot of rock climbers during the beginning and end of the hikes. Take time to watch them scale the rock!
  • See More Amazing Things to Do at Smith Rock State Park

WHAT TO PACK / WEAR FOR YOUR HIKE

WHAT’S NEARBY

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Misery Ridge Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comMisery Ridge Trail Smith Rock State Park Oregon - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.comSmith Rock Misery Ridge Trail Hike - iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com

Monkey Face Smith Rock State Park Oregon - Misery Ridge Trail is the iconic hike in the park offers scenic views of Crooked River and Monkey Face. Check out detailed info on the hike here // localadventurer.com

Have you done any other hikes within Smith Rock?

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ESTHER + JACOB

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Great article -but why is it called the Misery Ridge? Was someone really sad when they hiked it in the past? Just curious… :)

    1. Good question, Zainab! I think mainly because you feel miserable when you’re going up the incline. hahaha At least that’s what everyone says.

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