Smith Rock Tour

Stunning Cascade views.  Smith Rock’s towering, colorful cliff formations.  The adrenaline rush of driving the magnificent Crooked River Highway.  This drive encapsulates the quintessential Central Oregon open road experience.  And it’s capped by lunch at one of the region’s most exclusive resorts.

Your drive starts by vectoring NW to some of High Desert Region’s favorite roads.  The towering Cascade Mountain range gives way to Terrebonne’s high-desert horse country, and world-famous Smith Rock.  A mecca for rock climbers, Smith Rock is considered “the birthplace of modern American sport climbing” and has been featured in several movies, including John Wayne’s “Rooster Cogburn.”  Such a scenic rest stop…you’ll swear you’ve landed in the middle of an epic Western!

Our tour then heads east towards Prineville, site of the country’s first municipally owned railroad a century ago, and now hosting modern large-scale data centers.

We’ll turn south onto Crooked River Highway, claimed by bikers as among Oregon’s best rides and by aficionados as a top fly-fishing destination. It’s canyon walls to your left, the river to your right, and curves ahead.  High Desert Region often works this 12-mile gem into drives.  We’ll stop at Prineville Reservoir where the flawless air quality earned it certification as an International Dark Sky Park.

Finally we head west—replete with Cascade Mountain views—for lunch at the members-only Ghost Tree Lounge at luxurious Pronghorn Resort where the tour ends.  The 4-mile entry road zips through a 1,000-year-old juniper forest.  We salute the road’s designer:  It controls speed not with speed bumps but with a series of S-curves!

Returning south to Sunriver is optional and tour leaders will depart after lunch.


Drive Dates: Thursday and Friday September 15 & 16, 2022
Tour Distance: 144 miles
Tour Duration: 5 hours

0.031 build time