“Beautiful views with a solid climb part way through.
— Joel Wilson
While the full loop may be too much for kids, the sections by the river are approachable and have beautiful views.
Requires day use fee or Oregon State Parks parking permit.
This loop features stunning views of Smith Rock, the Cascade Mountains, and rolling green pastures and forest in between. Take it slow as you'll be sharing the trail with a lot of hikers and climbers.
Park at Smith Rock State Park along NE Crooked River Dr. There is a parking fee of about $5. The trail starts as a fire road on Canyon Trail
that descends steeply into the valley. Take it slow as the small gravel on hardpack is slippery. Stay to the right and cross the river on the Canyon Trail Bridge Connector
Clockwise is the preferred way to do this loop so that you can descend a steep and rocky section of singletrack at the end that would probably be unrideable uphill. After the bridge, go left and follow the River Trail
clockwise around Smith Rock. Stay left at the two trail junctions for the Mesa Verde Trail as it is off limits for bikes. At the second junction, the River Trail
ends, and you'll continue on the Summit Trail
The Summit Trail
starts about halfway through the loop and begins a solid climb to a ridge. The grade is generally reasonable, and you'll negotiate some tight but doable switchbacks. Part way up, there's a Viewpoint Spur
trail to the right, which climbs steeply to a nice vantage point. At the top, you'll intersect the Burma Road Trail
, an old road that is now a multi-use trail. Stay right to continue the loop. Left goes out to the Gray Butte Loop.
Head down the Burma Road Trail
and watch your speed, as it is loose and rocky in places and there are a lot of hikers around. Descend around a right-hand switchback, then at the left-hand switchback take the Burma Road Trail
singletrack to the right for a more interesting descent (or one can continue down the old road for an easy way back). This singletrack section is pretty steep and technical and has a lot of uphill hiker traffic, so use caution.
At the bottom, continue onto the Wolf Tree Trail
, which meanders gently along the river. Turn left at the bridge to complete the loop and grind up the short but steep hill to the car.