Misery Ridge and River Trail

MODERATE 337 reviews
#2 of 14 trails in

Misery Ridge and River Trail is a 4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Terrebonne, Oregon that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,043 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
23 days ago

what an amazing hike loved it, my son is 8 years old and he did the whole hike with us and loved it.

1 month ago

Not a dull moment on this hike. It’s got a spectacular reveal of Monkey Face when you pop up on a ridge, plus just the right amount of toughness with the climb and descent. This is followed up with a lovely amble along the river back to the start, passing by numerous, climb-able rock faces to admire. A great showcase of the high-desert terrain this area is known for.

hiking
1 month ago

Took us two hours to do this. Did it clockwise with the river trail first and then misery ridge. Perfect for a winter day. Misery ridge requires some climbing but the views of the canyon and river are beautiful on the way down.

2 months ago

amazing views and a great well kept trail!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome trail all the way. (This review describes hiking up the ridge first for a counterclockwise hike, which seems to be the more common choice and my preference.) Some very steep grades on the ascent up Misery Ridge, so I like to use a trekking pole. Great views of the river canyon on the ascent, then you wind around to the back where an even more spectacular view awaits of the cool Monkey Face rock formation (look for climbers on it) and the Cascade Range all the way from Mount Bachelor to Mount Hood. Then the trail descends down around Monkey Face and follows the river in a mostly flat meander past a lot of climbing sites. (A previous reviewer compared Smith Rock SP to Zion NP, just on a smaller scale. That is exactly what I thought the first time I visited here!)

2 months ago

Amazing scenery, quick, fun, intense hike. Misery Ridge portion is not kid or dog friendly in my opinion with crowds and vertical drops.

hiking
3 months ago

THIS IS FREAKING AMAZING! The only thing that makes me sad is that I don´t have any formal experience climbing. The views are stunning. Loved it! For me it wasn't a hard hike as some people say, I think moderate is accurate. Lots of people.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail, very busy, very doable for anyone. Easy trail and short enough to take your time. $5 parking fee.

3 months ago

Beautiful trail to the top. Quite the Climb though.

hiking
3 months ago

Today we visited 7/7 of the Oregon Wonders. Smith Rock was the final one and it did not disappoint. It reminded me a little bit of Zion - a mini version though. The hike was pleasant and easy up to the Misery Ridge. A couple of strenuous and steep switch backs take you to the top. The views on top are very rewarding. I totally recommend doing the river trail first and ascending the ridge from the back side. It’s shorter (but steeper) and faster. Also, your knees will thank the steps on the front side of the rock formation. Save some energy for the final incline to the parking lot. This one might be the most brutal one! Lol.

hiking
4 months ago

This was a terrific hike! We hiked counter-clockwise to get the ascent done first.
The hike was heavily trafficked on the day we were there.
Great views!

4 months ago

Beautiful hike! The rock faces were stunning at every turn. The first portion was a steady uphill. The last third was flat. I wish it had been more of a workout but it made for a great part of the day!

4 months ago

We hiked Misery to River Trail around noon on a Sunday. It was early Oct. which was perfect weather for a hike like this. Air was crisp. The Misery trail is very vertical but doable for a mildly out of shape 52 year old. Just had to take frequent stops to catch my breath. It was worth it though! Back side was much easier but the steep decline was very slippery due to loose gravel. Take it slow.

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful trail and a great view of Monkey Face. plenty of Trail Runners and pet walkers but not too overcrowded for a Wednesday midafternoon the river trail portion was very mild but crossing Misery Ridge was very steep with no guard rails. Definitely worth visiting again.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail was beautiful! They were well marked. We did Misery Trail first and it was a bit strenuous but we just rested often. The views were spectacular!

4 months ago

This trail was lung burner for sure! We took the misery ridge trail first and came back around on the river trail. Misery ridge is rated as difficult and river trail is easy, which I’m assuming is why this trail is labeled moderate. Took about 2 hours stopping for a few pictures. Views from the top are breathtaking!

hiking
4 months ago

Completed this hike 9/21. Hiked the loop in the clockwise direction. That means we went left after crossing footbridge. Took the River trail to the Mesa Verde Trail, then hiked down the Misery Ridge trail. We found this the easier way to go since we had 2 kids with us. 11 years and 7 years old. My GPS app says we hiked 4.45 miles. I think that’s pretty accurate. On the Smith Rock map it says this loop is 4 miles and that doesn’t count the distance from the parking lot. So I don’t know why AllTrails says 3.6 miles.
The hike is breathtaking. Walking along the river and then seeing Monkey Face come into view...It was amazing. Then getting to the top...beyond words. You can see every mountain. Bachelor to Hood. I would do this hike again.

hiking
4 months ago

Took the 4-year-old and 2 month old along chutes to canyon trail to river trail then turned back about 1.25 miles in due to preschooler exhaustion. Gorgeous hike and even though it was a sparkling Sunday, beat the crowds. Super dusty and port-a-potties were full so empty your bladders before getting there. Lots of climbers to gawk at (do their mothers know they’re doing that?!?!?!). Great day!!!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike, fantastic scenery. Completed this hike in September 2017.

5 months ago

This is a great trail, but boy it kicked my arse! I’m not very fit, and I have bad joints, so I’d either of those aren’t a problem for you it’s definitely doable. It took me about an hour to get up, and 45 minutes to get down the ridge itself; the river trail is quite pretty afterwards. I did the ridge first, which was easier for me as I can’t climb down stairs very well - if you’d prefer to go up stairs, go the ridge first, and if you’d prefer to go down stairs and up a hill, do the ridge last. There is an incline without stairs on both sides, but there are a fair few stairs up doing the ridge first.
You really have to watch your footing - I saw a lot of people fall, and I nearly slipped a few times myself, even with poles and hiking boots. Just be careful :)

5 months ago

Amazing views, well maintained, fairly easy to park even on a holiday weekend (Labor Day)

hiking
5 months ago

This beautiful hike takes you through some of the best areas of the park.

We did the route counter clockwise, and the first segment up Misery Ridge is pretty strenuous. The rest of the hike was all very moderate.

5 months ago

Love this hike. Along the river there are so many fun detours and awe inspiring rifts and ridges, huge facing cliffs. Going up misery ridge is tough (duh) but amazing at the top.

6 months ago

Not a long hike but a challenging one. Bring lots of water...

hiking
6 months ago

5 stars for the first part of the hike! Hiking the steep steps up to the top is so fun and gives you such awesome views! The path down is neat too (takes you past Monkey Face), but once you get down to the river it’s a little less exciting. Still a really nice trail and we enjoyed it, but all the “action” is in the first half of the hike!

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike with beautiful vistas. The initial descent from the parking lot is simple, but the way back is harder than it look, and several people were panting hard. Don’t rush!

6 months ago

Beautiful and unique scenery. Did this hike with a group of six plus a little dog. This was back in the winter and we kept shedding and putting back on layers. Excellent work out while you enjoy the views and company.

6 months ago

We got on the trail at 6 am on a hundred degree day and we finished about 9:30. you can do it much faster but we relaxed a while at the top. I have a great fear of heights so I also took longer than most people on the trail today. But, I faced my fear and went. I am so glad I did. However, if I were to do it again I would go clockwise along the river and up to the top and come back the same way. not nearly as steep and not the long dropoffs along the trail as going the counter clockwise part first.

7 months ago

good workout in the heat.

7 months ago

Loved it! Steep and scary going up and down. And bugs by the river.

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