Whatever you do, don't leave Central Oregon without visiting Smith Rock State Park. Seriously, this is something you need to make time for. If you're a rock climber, you probably already understand my sentiment; People come from all over the world to take on “Monkey Face” — a 350-ft high pillar that’s an absolute hotspot for climbers.
Even if you never plan on shouting 'Belay on!', hiking Smith Rock is something that should be on your bucket list.
Don't worry about looking like a tourist because you can't stop clicking your camera every two seconds, nobody can resist. There's so much natural beauty here, you'll want to capture every little detail to reflect on later.
Also good to point out, it's just "Smith Rock", not "Smith Rocks". Nothing will make you regret a hashtag on social media quicker than this...I promise.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Bring lots of water, after you start on the actual trails there's nowhere to fill up and rationing your water is not fun. There's a bathroom by where you park and another right before you start to really hike. Dogs are allowed on a leash. Wear hiking boots if you have them. Any workout shoes will be okay, but there's a lot of loose gravel to deal with.
For more information [including where to buy a parking pass with a debit card] and other tips on hiking Smith Rock for the first time, read the original article I wrote for the Central Oregon Visitors Association by clicking HERE.