Summit Loop Trail Run:  7.3 miles round trip from the Welcome Center


By far one of the nicest additions to the trail system in the past few years to the park is the Summit Trail. Making the loop trail run gives you a chance to see much of the park's terrain, from the river banks to the ridges. The trail takes you to the back side of the park to views not seen by many who visit.

Steep short scree descent into the park to easy flat trail with some steep upward pushes, exposed drop-offs and steep scree road descent to steep scree trail, then flat again until last grunt up out of the park.


Take the Chute Trail into the park from the Overlook just past the Welcome Center as it starts past the paved section and continues toward the bridge. After crossing the bridge, go left and stay on the River Trail to connect to the Summit Trail

Stay on the trail as it winds through private property then gains in elevation about 160 feet to a great viewpoint just off the main trail.

Check out the Monument Area to the left, the park's icon, Monkey Face to the right, and the rim of Misery Ridge and the rest of the park and river all in front of you.

Continue up a series of steep switchbacks, topping out at the 3500' summit junction where you start your descent down the steep irrigation access road that begins the Burma Road Trail.

Summit Trail series of switchbacks at Smith Rock State Park

Summit Trail series of switchbacks at Smith Rock State Park

The condition of the road varies, from scree to good size chunks of loose rock kicked up by state vehicles and horses.

Follow the road dropping down 500 feet of elevation until you connect to the scree trail that descends sharply until it joins the flat Wolf Tree Trail.

Take it back to the bridge and then back up the Chute Trail to the Overlook and back to the Welcome Center.

Summit Loop Trail Run Elevation Graph at Smith Rock State Park-  click to enlarge

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Not done yet after 7.3 miles? Add one of these three options to your Summit Trail exploration to check out more of the scenery.