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Smith Rock

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

On our second day in Oregon, Kev and I met up with a dear friend of mine, Niki. I have known this girl forever! I knew the second we were going to Oregon that we had to meet up somehow.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon www.kevinandamanda.com #travel #wanderlust

She lives near Bend, so she knew just where we should go. She took us out to Smith Rock State Park, and I thought we were in heaven! Smith Rock has gorgeous, sweeping views, high cliffs, deep canyons with a gorgeous blue river running through, hiking, trails, and tons of adventurous rock climbers and slack liners. Have you heard of slack lining? Goodness gracious, do I have some crazy photos to show you! Keep scrolling to see. :)

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Here we are! Niki grew up in Auburn too! You may remember me sharing photos from when we randomly met up at the beach and realized we had rented condos two doors down from each other.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

And of course Kevin was there too! :)

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

We started out up high, where Kevin is standing in the above photo, above the river.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

We hiked down the canyon until we were level with the river and crossed the bridge over to some the trails leading up the rock.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

And then we hiked allllll. the way. back. up.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

To here!

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

We took the “Misery Ridge” trail, and while it claims to be only 1.1 miles, it is almost straight up! This little sea-level girl is not so used to the elevation, and after 20 steps, I thought I was going to die! I was huffin’ and puffin’! :) Which was super embarrassing, because Niki is like, crazy in shape, and as soon as we got to the top, she found a cliff and started doing pull-ups. Not even kidding. That girl is my hero.

P.S. Niki, may I have your amazingly-toned arms please? Thank you.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

By the way, I’m thinking it might not have been so embarrassing if I hadn’t snarfed down that Doughnut French Toast for breakfast.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

This is me hanging on to Kevin for dear life! :)

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

But the views were absolutely stunning.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

You could see for miles in every direction; the whole city.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

I made the mistake wearing hot purple nylon shorts that were very um, shall we say, poofy, so I declined to be in any photos for the day. Actually, okay, fine, I was in photos, but after I saw myself in said photos, I vehemently declined to ever let them see the light of day. So here’s just Kevin. You can imagine me in ridiculously poofy hot purple nylon shorts standing next to him. Thank you.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

There had been some wildfires in the area, so the sky was hazy and full of ash.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

I have never seen anything quite like it.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Yes, this is part of the Misery Ridge Trail. Looks fun, doesn’t it! :)

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

At the top of the summit is Monkey Face Rock.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Can you see the Monkey face?? :) He’s looking right.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Monkey Face is a free-standing, 400-foot high spire that is the focal point of Smith Rock. It also features a “slackline” between Smith Rock and the mouth of Monkey Face. As I soon learned, a slackline is basically a tightrope. Niki told me about them, but I didn’t quite believe her.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Until I saw this.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Um, yes. That is a PERSON walking on a TIGHTROPE at FOUR HUNDRED FEET IN THE AIR.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

It was pretty freaking crazy.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

He starts from a seated position on the line, then stands up.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Un-believable.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

Holding our breath!

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

He made it safely back! Thank you Cory for your super-awesomeness and amazing us with your slack lining skills!

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

After hiking all morning, we needed to reward ourselves, obviously. :) We had lunch at Jackson’s Corner, a yummy cafe in Bend with handmade pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches. For dessert, they offered cookies from the famous Sparrow Bakery in Bend, and also a local baker who does wedding cakes and makes mini versions for Jackson’s Corner.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

The cookies were amazing! This was a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie.

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

This chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse, and chocolate chips was perfect!

Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon

I cannot stop thinking about this chocolate crinkle cookie. It was so rich, and decadent, and fudgy! It was almost like a perfect little brownie.

Thanks so much for looking! Have a great weekend! xoxo

*Thank you so much to Travel Oregon for sending us on this trip!

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26 Responses
  1. Wyatt Barry

    Im currently working on a project about Smith Rock and the information that I’m finding is incredible! i have never been to Oregon but after looking on this project it makes me wanna go now!

  2. Wyatt Barry

    Im currently working on a project about Smith Rock and the information that I’m finding is incredible! i have never been to Oregon but after working on this project it makes me want to go now!

  3. ZOUACHE

    I Amanda & Kevin. Some few words from France to say how I appreciated your site. I was looking for some tourism information about Painted Hills as I came accross your article.
    The pictures are breathtaking. I was wondering if there are some other places like this one in the US.
    My americans friends are living on the East Coast and the far I went myself was San Francisco and its wonderful scenic coastal drive on the way to Monterey Bay Aquarium which is quite amazing too.
    Thanks a lot for sharing all of that with the world.
    Bye – Christine – Take care for an other trail !

    1. Ruth Sievers

      Zouache, there are many other places like this in the U.S., especially in the Southwest. Check out the following national parks in Utah: Arches National Park (NP), Zion N.P., Canyonlands, N.P., Bryce N.P., and Dinosaur National Monument, Of course, the one everyone knows is Grand Canyon N.P., which can be combined with these others for an incredible visit. Badlands, N.P. in South Dakota and Death Valley N.P. and Joshua Tree N.P. in California (don’t visit in summer!) are also amazing. Sedona, Arizona, has great red rocks, too, and the country around Santa Fe, New Mexico (Bandelier N.P.) is so cool too. Actually, I can think of more, but then my comment will never end. Colorado (with Rocky Mountain N.P., among others) is an amazing state too. Visit NPS.gov to learn more. I haven’t been to Bend, but I’m planning to go now!
      Christine, thanks for your wonderful photos!!!

  4. Tracie

    Oh I LOVE LOVE Smith Rock, went last summer and have to go back soon! The hike on the other side by Monkey Face is a lot easier and the views were amazing :) We camped under the stars at the campsite! Oh so amazing!

  5. laura lok

    love smith rock been there twice once to hike to the rock on the other side and once just for the view as a quick stop out of town. next trip is monkey face though. but you wont see me tight roping it NO WAY wow

  6. Mandy

    That is completely amazing and beautiful. I can’t believe that someone would walk a tight rope across there. It makes my head spin just looking at the pictures.

    Yum! Those treats look fantastic.

  7. ryane

    What amazing photos you take, It looks as if I’m standing right there. Great Hike Oh MYGosh….. Then the guy on the rope I stopped breathing. Im such a Fraidy cat. I had to stop looking and catch my breath again. lol But True. Thank Kevin and Amanda for taking me to the top of the mountain. Dont think Ill ever be up there unless I can drive it. ( I’m in a knee Brace an walker 2 surgeries and one more to go). But I loved living it through you guys. : ) Thanks Great reward all the chocolate. Yummy

  8. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

    I think I just had a heart attack for that tight-rope person. I can’t even function well when I’m near the guard-rails on the second story of the mall, much less tight-rope walking 400 feet in the air on a canyon. Yikes! However, the photos are stunning!

  9. bridget {bake at 350}

    Oh my word…I have goosebumps from those tightrope pictures. ACK!!! I wouldn’t do that for 10 million dollars. I almost couldn’t even look!!!

    The views ARE stunning! Gorgeous pictures!

  10. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    Amanda, the first picture of Kevin sitting on the edge of the cliff made me catch my breath…. and then I saw the tight rope walker. Dear Lord! About to pass out just looking at the photos.

  11. Robyn

    Amanda
    I just found your blog yesterday via Deanna at Snippets from Springdale. I love your photography! This post is stunning. I read through your aperture tutorial and can’t wait to start experimenting. Looking forward to more of your work. Thank You.

  12. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    Aaaahhhh! Those slackline pictures made my stomach drop!!!! I was not even there and it made me so scared!!!! I totally see the monkey face, so cool! I am so glad that after all that hiking you guys rewarded yourselves with some much deserved bakery therapy!

  13. marie foshee

    I think it is wonderful when old friends reconnect. You and Nikki look great, just like in high school. Your pictures are amazing, I will say I hate hights and some of them made me a little dizzie!!! especially the tight rope walker WOW!!

  14. Kara E.

    Oregon is gorgeous. Due to your photos of Smith Rock and the Painted Hills, I’m now dieing to travel there! I’ve seen slack line before, but it was only a few feet off the ground; I had no idea people do it on cliffs!

  15. Terry

    I have a cousin who lives in Bend ~ a Ducks fan no less!! We bet a pecan pie on the 2011 National Championship game …NEED I SAY MORE? I sure need to go visit him ~ it is beautiful out there. Great pictures (I was holding my breath for that guy to make it across)!!
    WDE!!!!

  16. Anele @ Success Along the Weigh

    1) Oregon has moved up quite a few notches on our “go to” list.
    2) I would’ve soiled myself spotting the tightrope walker.
    3) Could not stop laughing that you did this big hike with a girl doing pull ups then went straight to a bakery after. What would a K&A post being without delectables?

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Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. Meet our Boston Terriers. Take a tour of our house. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.

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