The term 'crag' refers to a steep, rugged mass of rock projecting upward, resulting in steep vertical rock exposure ideal for rock climbing. Take for example, Smith Rock State Park in Eastern Oregon. In the rock climbing world, Smith Rock is well known, offering some of the most spectacular climbs in the state.
The park is so much more than a rock climber's playground. The drive in to the park is fairly unpromising, desert and farmland abound, the closest town being barely a dot on the map. The surrounding mountain peaks steal the show, with the Three Sisters, Mount Jefferson, Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Broken Top and Bachelor demanding all the attention.
Nearing the park, a few rock formations appear on the horizon. The true awe doesn't set in until the path from the parking lot reaches the edge of the canyon. Walking and hiking trails of all kinds of difficulty loop around the massive rocks and deep canyon river below.
Mountain biking trails are also accessible, and the area is a favourite nesting spot for falcons and eagles.The park even has a climbers biouvac/campground for overnight guests. For those wanting to rock climb, the options are endless. There are thousands of different climbs, all varieties of skill level and length.
Next time you're thinking about somewhere new to visit, consider Smith Rock. The views are breathtaking, the hikers and climbers are friendly, and the weather is unbeatable in Spring and Fall when rain is drowning the rest of the state.
Written by Noelle Snyder. Photos by Noelle Snyder and Elijah Weber
Noelle is a THISWORLDEXISTS Brand Ambassador. See more of her adventures via Instagram: @noelle_danae