September 2019 – Misery Ridge Loop – Smith Rock State Park

With a name like “Misery” it has be painful. Don’t let the video fool you. There was a lot of misery, but also a lot of splendor. This hike makes you work for the views and the joy, and we love it!

And what if I told you the worst part was only for a mile?

When some people think of Smith Rock, they think of rock climbing, and while that is very true, there is a ton of hiking to be had. We love watching the rock climbers as we are making our way around the loop, saying to ourselves “wow, I could never do that.” Or maybe it’s just me saying that out loud?

Let’s get to it, shall we? We went over a long weekend and there were a LOT of people milling around. Parking can be challenging at times, but there is plenty of it. Also BE READY TO HIKE! Sorry for yelling, but if you’re planning on taking the Misery Ridge Loop, wear appropriate hiking footwear and have a couple bottles of water at the very least.

To get to the base of Smith Rock we took The Chute. It’s pretty steep, but we thought of it as our warm-up. After crossing the single-file bridge, we went straight for Misery Ridge, a one-mile trip straight up and straight down. There were stairs and switchbacks and a lot of tired people on the trail. We took our time and stopped for a couple moments to catch our breath (again, that was probably just for me).

We stopped at the top for a LONG time. Once we fully recuperated, we headed around the back to Monkey Face, where we saw multiple people climbing! It’s super freaking cool.

We could see Monkey Face during the entire DECLINE of the hike. You guys, it was maybe more miserable than the first part. I’m the littlest fan of harsh declines and this one was gnarly. Slow and steady wins the race though, and before I knew it, we were at the Mesa Verde Trail which is only a hop-skip-jump from the River Trail.

I love the River Trail. We followed the Crooked River and got to enjoy all the nooks and crannies of the west side of Smith Rock.

Once we made it back to the start of the Misery Ridge Loop, we went back across the river, up The Chute, found some shade and had a picnic! Sandwiches had never tasted so good!!

Those are some happy smiles!

Happy Hiking, friends!

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