Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gray Butte/Smith Rock-Jefferson County

As often the case, we (more particularly "I") seem to pick odd/ugly days to explore the Oregon backcountry. The weather doesn't spoil the trip though as we get to see some wonderful places in utter solitude.

Paul and I ventured out to Smith Rock State Park. Our destination was Gray Butte. a 5,100 foot peak that isn't often hiked. Gray Butte stands tall and alone about 35 miles east of the Cascades near Terrebonne, north of Bend and south of Madras.

Misery Ridge at Smith Rock-incredible. The Crooked River is below and Gray Butte is the peak in the right center.

One of Central Oregon's main irrigation canals that tunnels under Smith Rock. This is a very long tunnel built by the Bureau of Reclamation just after the WWII.

Gorgeous stretch of the Crooked River.

Yeap. They named that right. The rock formation is Monkey Face and to climbers from around the world it's an essential destination. To give you a sense of scale, you could camp in the "mouth" with several pals.

Volcanic rock layers around the Crooked.

Paul suits up amongst Juniper forest in Sherwood Canyon as the rain begins to turn to snow.

Near the summit of Gray Butte.

Gray Butte. Omnious on that day and living up to it's name.

Rain turned to snow as we stood near the summit. Unfortunately, this was a week day hike and we ran out of time. We had to turn back to make it home, so we didn't summit. We will definitely go back as this peak and area are beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment