Ruckel Ridge / Ruckel Creek Loop Trail
Length: 9.6 miles
Trail Uses: Hiking
Facilities available: Parking, Restrooms, Picnicing, Camping, Drinking Water
Season of Use: April to November
Elevation: 109 ft to 3648 ft.
Visitor Use: Light
Northwest Forest Pass Required for parking
Directions to Ruckel Ridge / Ruckel Creek Loop Trail
Eastbound I-84 – Take Eagle Creek exit # 41. turn right, park at the picnic ground entrance, and hike 0.1 mile (0.2 km) up the road toward Eagle Creek Campground. Take Gorge Trail # 400 0.5 mile to the junction of Trail # 405, which starts alongside an abandoned Historic Columbia River Highway bridge on the east side of Ruckel Creek. Westbound I-84 – Take Bonneville Dam exit # 40. Drive under the freeway and join eastbound traffic. After 1 mile take Eagle Creek exit # 41 as indicated above.
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Ruckel Ridge / Ruckel Creek Loop Trail Description
Steep Ruckel Creek Trail offers a wide variety of scenery, botany, and wildlife in its climb up the southern face of the gorge. From April through May, the climb to Benson Plateau passes moss-covered rock slides dotted with wildflowers and old-growth woodland. The trail provides fantastic cliff-top views of the Bridge of the Gods, Table Mountain, and Mount Adams. The trail forks after the forested plateau. The trail on the right side (past a “Trail Not Maintained” sign) provides a perfect lunch spot and turnaround point next to the splashing Ruckel Creek. The trail can be combined with either Ruckel Ridge Trail (9.6 miles) or Eagle-Benson Trail for a longer loop (16.6 miles). The Ruckel Ridge route is not maintained or marked and is not a system trail. Eagle-Benson Trail #434 is not maintained and is very difficult to follow…it is not a recommended tie between Ruckel and Eagle Creek #440.