This route joins several segments of the Misery Ridge
Trail, Mesa Verde
Trail, and River Trail
to make a loop. You'll go up the ridge, down the back side, past Monkey Face Pinnacle, join the Mesa Verde
trail, and eventually the River Trail
which takes you around the south end of the Smith Rock Group along the river.
$5 parking fee without Oregon State Park Pass. The machines like $5 bills, will take $10 bills but returns Susan B Anthony $1 coins. Change at the visitor center. Credit Card accepting machine in campground parking lot.
The trail actually starts at the bridge. There are three ways to get to the bridge. The Canyon/Chute
Trail from the main parking lot; The Rope De Dope Trail from the bivouac; and the Homestead Trail
from the north point parking lot.
Traveling this route, you get to climb to the highest overlook on Misery Ridge
. Going down the backside, you'll pass a volcanic bubble which you can crawl inside. From inside, you can take pictures out the "window." From here, you'll continue passed the Monkey Face Pinnacle, and then travel along the scenic Crooked River on the River Trail
Oftentimes this loop is done backwards, starting along the River Trail
then heading up the loose pebble switchbacks along Mesa Verde
on the west side of Misery Ridge
trail. Then, use the stair system to make your descent back to the valley floor. Along the canyon floor, you'll get up close to the eon long war between the pyroclastic welded tuft, the intrusive rhyolite, the volcanic basalt flow, and the sculptures knife, the Crooked River.
This route is popular because you get to see all of the best that Smith Rock State Park has to offer.