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Smith Rock SP Camping?

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New York City, New...
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Smith Rock SP Camping?

Hi!

I am going to be driving through the area for a partial day/night, and wanted to know about camping in the Bend area. Someone suggested Smith Rock SP and said they have walk-in tent sites...is this true? What advice would you have for getting one of those sites? I've never done walk-in camping before. I'll be arriving by car from the north (coming from Mt. Hood).

Also, curious as to thoughts about hiking in that park. I looked on a few sites with trail details, one of them said I needed a state park permit? Does that just mean I'll pay a fee upon entry? (I haven't been to many state parks so far in life.)

Thanks!

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1. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

FORGOT to mention I'm going to be there mid-September, around the 15th or 16th. Thanks!

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

if its during the week it might be ok. its popular with the rock climbers on the weekend. There may or may not be a camp host(Im guessing not). if not there will be a pay station- which will probably take cash or a check take the ticket and put it in on your dashboard... its easy. It is a great hiking destinatiion.

If for some reason camping is not available at Smith, Cove Palisades State Park is sort of near by and should have plenty of space... there are closer BLM campgrounds to Smith Rock, but they do not offer any amenities (other than a pit toilet) and no water so it is hard to recommend using those if you're not prepared.

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3. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

Hi! A lot of your questions answered in this article by outdoors writer Terry Richard of The Oregonian. oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2013/05/smit…

Oregon Coast
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4. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

More specific information about the campground itself:

smithrock.com/localguide/…sr_campground.html

Photo 5 shows the camping area. $5/night, hot showers :-)

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

Smith Rock is a definite "must see" between Mt. Hood and Bend, but I think you'd be more comfortable camping at Tumalo SP. It's only 6 miles from Bend, has better facilities, and is less primitive than what I remember seeing at Smith Rock.

Edited: 27 August 2014, 17:41
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6. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

Thanks. Does Smith Rock State Park have moderate hikes that might only take a few hours? I see since it's a place for experienced climbers I'm not sure if it has something for me, who is not planning to scale a mountain..

Also, when it comes to first-come, first-served campsites, how early does one need to arrive? How does that process work in most places and is it different in state parks vs. others?

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7. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

Regarding your hikes question, yes. More Terry Richard: oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2014/07/smit… and specifically 3+ hours for Misery Ridge: oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2014/06/smit…

Edited: 27 August 2014, 23:11
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8. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

Hi! I agree with thrumylens in that the campground at Smith Rock is pretty primitive-it's mainly for the rock climbers and not necesarily made for folks wanting a camping experience. Now, that being said, it is well worth your while to drive back from wherever it is you camp, say Tumalo, to walk around a bit. And no, you do NOT have to scale a mountain-you don't even have to walk up and down Misery Ridge---that's a side trail. The main loop trail itself is pretty flat and easy-and you don't have to go all the way if you don't want to-just walk a way, enjoy the scenery and go back-there's no law that says you have to do the whole thing. Just depends on what you're feeling that day. It's a beautiful area and part of the trail goes along a river---it is very popular and the parking lot fills up quickly, though-just know that. Even in September try to avoid weekend. and watch out for rattlesnakes. just stay on the trail and you'll be fine. And again, it's a beautiful part of the country (but then, I love rocks). :))

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9. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

I agree - there are walking paths that are easy and scenic. It is a very pretty area and it's fun to watch the rock climbers :-)

Some TripAdvisor pics:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g52033-d28…

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10. Re: Smith Rock SP Camping?

I need reservations for Tumalo though, right? My concern is I wasn't 100% sure of timing.