Rock Climbing Ethics*

Leave NO Trace!

At Smith Rock it is quite easy to see that many of these caveats have not been consideration. So many people climb on the rock, and that's a problem. Still, it is hoped that the following can be observed and the beauty of the area can be preserved for those who come after us.

  • At Easy Access Crags or Areas that See Frequent Traffic

    Seek out and follow the established paths and trails. Walking off the trail, no matter how little the seeming difference, can cause significant damage to the vegetation and attract further trampling and erosion. Remaining on existing trails is crucial.

    Try not to use trails that have been closed.

    Respect Rehabilitation Efforts.

  • Properly Dispose of What You Can't Bring Out: The Big Walls

    On more accessible big walls like Smith Rock, it is no longer acceptable to just toss human waste to the base. Place feces in a doubled paper bag and add a bit of kitty litter or lime to reduce odor and absorb moisture. Carry filled paper bags up the wall in a PVC pipe with caps on both ends, pulled along below a haul bag. After the climb, dump the paper bags in a pit toilet.

    Human waste breaks down very slowly. If you see signs of others, don't add your own.

  • Leave What You Find

    Disturb animal and plant habitat as little as possible. Stressing animals by approaching too closely can compromise their ability to survive drought or hard winters.

    Avoid nesting sites of raptors, such as hawks, falcons, eagles and owls in spring or early summer. Watch the birds as they circle and land near their nests and avoid those places. Don't touch any nests you might encounter on the climb.

    Trampling vegetation at the base of climbs or removing it can be minimized. Vertical walls are home to unique biological communities. Some of the plant and animal species in cracks may be quite rare, so don't disturb them if at all possible. Clean the areas only necessary for the ascent.

smith rock in the high desert of central oregon, north of bend, oregon, newberry crater national monument, not far from the deschutes national forest, mountain lakes, hiking trails, cascade mountains, campgrounds.

*This information is provided by the National Outdoor Leadership School. I've provided information here that is only applicable to the climb on Smith Rock. Should you care to learn more, contact the National Outdoor Leadership School, 288 Main St, Lander, WY 82520, 307-332-8800.

Forward ~ Smith Rock, beautiful backdrop
to the Crooked River.

Back ~ Climbing Smith Rock.

An Information Guide to the Hiking Trails, Climbing Routes and more on Smith Rock.

Oregon State Parks: Smith Rock in Central Oregon.

Explore Central Oregon and see Smith Rock: Travel Directions, Map and Scenery.

waterfalls at smith rock, flowing into the crooked river below.

Travel Oregon and northern California while staying at Gathering Light ... a retreat
near Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon.

walking at wood river wetlands near gathering light ... a retreat in southern oregon near crater lake: cabins, tree houses on the river in the forest.

Travel to Gathering Light .... a retreat on the Columbia River, Cascade Mountains Scenic Route: Travel Directions, Map and Scenery: includes the West Cascades Scenic Byway.

Directions to and Day Trips of about 100 miles from the retreat.

Little known Scenic Places, opportunities to explore, photograph nature: hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, birding, and more, all near Crater Lake and the retreat: Directions Map and Scenery.

Website Directory       Page Listings       Home Page

Contact Brad at Gathering Light ... a retreat.

The day wanes at Wood River Wetlands (pictured above), one of the many Klamath Basin birding trails, not far from Gathering Light ... a retreat. Rustic simplicity, a place to "Just Be", Gathering Light is nestled on the banks of the river, surrounded by the Fremont Winema National Forest of southern Oregon and not far from Crater Lake National Park.

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