The first time I went hiking at Central Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park, I was shocked that it had not somehow become a national park. I realize that the acreage is on the small size for a National Park, but the scenery is absolutely stunning. Smith Rock’s vertical spires trump virtually any rock formations outside of Southern Utah. With impeccable views of the Oregon Cascade Mountains, and the Crooked River meandering below, the setting is sublime. To top things off, Smith Rock State Park typically offers impeccable people watching opportunities as the park is a favorite rock climbing destination for rock climbers from around the world.
The above Photograph of Smith Rock was taken this past summer from near the viewpoint where the trail from the parking lot descends into the Crooked River Canyon far below. This image has the summer desert feel I was looking for in a new Smith Rock Print.
This image taken at the northern end of Smith Rock State Park is a long time favorite of mine. The wonderful contrast between the delicate sulfur flowers and an aging sagebrush in the foreground and the stunning pinnacles of the Christian Brothers rock formations in the background manage to beautifully captured the variety and textures of Smith Rock.
This image of a lichen covered juniper snag embodies the rugged nature of the smith rock area. Because Smith Rock receives very little rainfall and summers can be scorching hot(by Bend area standards), life is hard for plants and animals in smith Rock State Park.
The above image is taken from the shores of the Crooked river, with “The Monument” in the background. The fall color in the mid-ground is very fleeting in Oregon’s high desert, but it adds an attractive element to an already impressive photographic composition.
This last image of Smith Rock includes yet another stunning rock formation rising nearly 600 feet above the Crooked River. This was also captured in autumn and even includes a dusting of fresh snow in the mid-ground. While Smith Rock State Park is always an amazing destination, there is currently still some fall color to be seen along the shores of the Crooked River as it meanders through the park, so get out while Smith Rock is at its best! If you’d like to view these images and others that I’ve captured with my 4×5 film camera, please visit my portfolio page here…Oregon Landscape Photos. If you’d like to see my latest photographic work, please also visit my Facebook Page.