Hiking Misery Ridge at Dog Friendly Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock 1I recently drove to a pet blogger conference in Las Vegas with Chester and Gretel. To make driving more pleasant for all of us, we played the 100 mile road trip game. One of our stops along the way was the dog friendly Smith Rock State Park in Oregon where we hiked the Misery Ridge trail.

We arrived at Smith Rock the first night of our road trip adventure and stayed at the same camp spot that allows you to sleep in your vehicle that we did last time. Coincidentally, a big group of people from the outdoor company I used to work for were camping there too. I stopped by and had a niche chat with some familiar folks.

In the morning, we got up early and headed over to the park. I had my eye on a particular trail that S and I had seen last time we were there but didn’t have time to hike.

Dog Friendly Misery Ridge Trail at Smith Rock State Park
Most Difficult? Misery? Sign Us Up!

hiking dogs on misery ridge trail in Smith Rock State ParkThe map we had was just a schematic map so it showed the trail route but didn’t give any distance or elevation. I thought we would just take a quick jaunt up and over the center of the sharply-protruding Smith Rocks and hit the road but the hike was longer than I thought.

We took a break at the top to soak in the view and have some breakfast.

smith rock state park 3P1040367EWe headed down the back side of the rock formation and saw some rock climbers on a pinnacle called Monkey Face, a marmot, and said a few more “wows” as we winded our way back to the parking lot.

Monkey Face Rock at Smith Rock State ParkMarmot at Smith Rock State ParkSmith Rock State Park 6Smith Rock State Park 7

The hike, including a breakfast and photo breaks, took us around 2.5 hours. I did some research when we got back and it looks like we hiked around 4 miles.

I love Smith Rock. The area around the pinnacles is limited (and super crowded on a summer weekend) but there are some much longer trails in the park that are popular with horseback riders and mountain bikers. S and I plan to go back with our bikes sometime.

We would go back to bike when the weather is warm so we couldn’t leave Chester and Gretel in the car. Smith Rock State Park is close to the town of Bend, Oregon though and I think I found a doggy daycare that will take traveling pups.

Trail Stats:

Trail Name: Misery Ridge Loop (Smith Rock State Park)
Distance: approximately 4 miles RT
Elevation Gain: aapproximately 1,000 feet
Highest Point: not found
Permits and Passes: Oregon State Park pass ($5 daily day-use fee or buy a 12-month permit for $30)

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Dachshund sitter, President of the largest social Dachshund club in Washington State, a dog trainer in training, and I’ve been a Dachshund owner for 20 years. I have over 150,000 hours of experience with the breed. When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.


  1. That looks really pretty. Are they wearing coats…that must have been weird after leaving the warm of Vegas.

    1. They are wearing light jackets. It was really chilly there that early in the morning. I think we started hiking around 7 am. This was on the way down too so they hadn’t felt Vegas heat yet…although it was 80 degrees the day before we left Seattle!

    1. Ha! I had to keep making them stop so I could carch my breath. They like to run up stairs.

    1. I wish for a pot of gold too. I would love nothing more than to travel the country with Chester and Gretel hiking every awesome trail out there!

  2. WOW! That place looks just beautiful!!!!! I so wish we had somewhere like that to go for a hike!
    My huskies would love it!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  3. I’m pretty sure the name “Misery Ridge” and the sight of those stairs would have sent me and the boys packing, LOL. Please advise if there is a hiking trail called “Soft, Cushly Lazy Trail” or “You Can Half-Ass This One and Still Call It Hiking”…the Marmot is cool though 😉

    1. If you hung a left before the start of this trail you would have found a nice flat one with great views 🙂

  4. Smith Rock is an awesome place to hike. On many days you can watch rock climbers as you hike.

    The town of Redmond is a little closer than Bend , but not as big. If you do make it to bend be sure to hit one of the 20+ breweries in the area. Lots of outdoor adventures in central O!

    1. I’ve been to Bend twice – once at the end of last summer for a few days and for a few hours after this stop at Smith Rock. I, honestly, don’t drink beer because I am gluten free but I like to go to them to eat and hang out with my dogs. I met with the Ruffwear folks when I went last summer and we had lunch at 10 Barrel. My hubby and I also accidentally discovered a great hike. You can see my post on Bend’s dog friendly breweries here http://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/best-dog-friendly-breweries-in-bend-oregon/ and my post on our hike here http://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/one-amazing-and-one-so-so-dog-friendly-hike-near-bend-oregon/. Thanks for stopping by!

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