Smith Rock State Park

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Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon is series of majestic spires rising along the Crooked River. These “spires” or rock formations are really quite impressive and scenic, especially with the river curving below them. It’s a very popular destination from at least Memorial Day Weekend through the end of summer. On the day I visited (Memorial Day Weekend), every parking place in the park had filled by 9 a.m. The park itself is covered in trails. They are everywhere: from along each side of the river to up and down and into the rock formations. Since the eighties, the park has become a premier place of rock climbing. Here’s a map of the section of the park I visited in the morning:

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Since I’d never been there before, I really didn’t have a very good idea where to go for the sunrise shoot. Smith Rock is definitely a morning park, as most of the rock formations face east or southeast. I ended up traversing Rim Rock Trail, which takes one to an edge of a bluff overlooking the Crooked River. But as the sun rose, I hiked down by the river and took more photos.

Here’s a satellite image showing the locations of all my photographs that morning:

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And here follows a selection of the images thus taken:

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In the evening, I returned for another shoot, hoping to get more clouds. Although Smith Rock State Park is definitely a morning location, when it comes to capturing ideal light, there is a section of rock in the far Northern section of the park that faces south and which receives some sun beams late in the day. I spent a couple of hours hiking down the river and taking photos of this south facing wall. Here is a little map of the area:

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And here’s a satellite image showing the locations of my photos:

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And here are some of the photos:

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