Smith Rock State Park: One of the Seven Natural Wonders in Oregon

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There’s a group of awe-inspiring structures deemed the Seven Wonders of the World. These buildings are testaments to man’s creativity and ingenuity. In Oregon, there are seven natural wonders that man simply must stand in awe of Mother Nature’s handiwork.

One of these extraordinary places, Smith Rock, is just a half-hour drive from Bend. People can take their pick of a dozen hikes around this 640-acre park that vary in degree of difficulty. Some even prefer to test their Spider-man skills by traversing several daring routes at a 90-degree angle.

We decided to follow one of the more horizontal paths that was aptly named the River Trail. This scenic, easy day hike hugged the Crooked River’s shoreline through the high desert country. We passed the park’s namesake and walls of slender golden pillars adjacent to jagged burgundy spires. Around one of the river’s bends was the delightful surprise of Monkey Face. Just another example of Mother Nature’s phenomenal talent, plus her sense of humor.

If you enjoyed this story in our series, you may also enjoy three other stories about day hikes in the Bend area to a pair of alpine lakes, near a waterfalls or to an extinct volcano.. We also invite you to check out the books in our series.