I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the hardest part of a day hike is finding the motivation to get to the trailhead. For this hike, it took me a good part of the day to find enough motivation to drive north to Smith Rock State Park near Terrebonne, Oregon. Once I was there, I raced the sun to hike as much of the 10+ miles of trails the park offers. I parked at the “turn around parking area” at 4:30pm and headed down to the Crooked River via the Homestead Trail. I’ve found that access to the river from this trailhead is a lot less crowded than by taking “The Chute” down to the footbridge. The footbridge is the only way of crossing the Crooked River in Smith Rock without fording it, but I find that if you have the time, the meander on the Homestead Trail is worth the time. After crossing the footbridge, I continued along the River Trail until I had to return. (The park closes at sunset.)
I found myself struggling to get the miles in on this hike due to all of the distractions! With the abundance of rocks covered in bright lichen (my second biggest hobby as of late), views worthy of appreciation and photographs, I had a hard time just putting my nose down and getting the mileage. But it occurred to me that this tug and pull between enjoying the nature and getting in the miles is exactly why I created this project. Here I was trying to brush away these “distractions” and concentrate on hiking and pushing for distance. It’s raising my heart rate. If I didn’t have this project and the rules I created, chances are good that I would have ended this hike after just a mile or two of hiking and would have concentrated on photography.
I pushed myself and got in four miles before the park officially closed at sunset. I’m especially proud of the last 1-1.5 miles, where I didn’t stop, even up the elevation gain in the last section. I feel in good shape, although I do need to get out more often.
- Oregon State Parks website
- Park map PDF (Right click link and download)
- Wikipedia: Smith Rock State Park
- Date of hike: October 17, 2012
- Location: Smith Rock State Park – Terrebonne, Oregon
- Length: 4.0 miles
This map was made with the data my GPS captured on the hike.
For a more detailed trip report map, check this out.