Ruckel Creek Trail (#405)

Area Status: Closed

THIS TRAIL IS CLOSED DUE TO THE EFFECTS OF THE EAGLE CREEK FIRE. Restoration efforts are ongoing; we hope to have the trai lopen by October 2024.

Steep and demanding, this 5.8 mile trail rewards with scenic views, wildflower displays, lichen covered rocks and Indian pits as it climbs up one of the southern faces of the Columbia Gorge. The trail forks after the forested Benson Plateau. The trail on the right side (past a “Trail Not Maintained” sign) provides a lunch spot and turnaround point next to Ruckel Creek.  

This trail enters Mark O Hatfield Wilderness and ends at its junction with Pacific Crest Trail #2000 on the east edge of the Benson Plateau heading into Mt Hood National Forest.

Alert! Ruckel Ridge is NOT a system trail so it is not maintained or marked. Eagle-Benson Trail #434 is not maintained so it is very difficult to follow and not a recommended connection between Ruckel and Eagle Creek #440. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed due to unstable landscape from a 2017 wildfire. Trail cannot be located. Violators can be cited and fined.
Usage: Light
  • Motor vehicles and bikes are prohibited.
  • Fires not allowed within 200 feet of trail.
Closest Towns: Cascade Locks, OR
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at Eagle Creek trailhead.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

General Information


Eagle Creek Trailhead

From Portland, OR: Travel east on Interstate 84 to Eagle Creek exit # 41. Turn right, drive past the fish hatchery and park in the day use area.

Hike 0.1 mile (0.2 km) up the road toward Eagle Creek Campground. Take Gorge Trail #400 for 0.5 mile (0.8 km) to the junction of Trail #405, which starts alongside an abandoned Historic Columbia River Highway bridge on the east side of Ruckel Creek.


Day Hiking

This more challenging hike winds through a variety of habitats and spectacular views. 


Viewing Plants

From April through May, the climb to Benson Plateau passes moss-covered rock slides dotted with wildflowers.  Trail also passes through old-growth forest. 

Viewing Scenery

The trail provides fantastic cliff-top views of the Bridge of the Gods, Table Mountain, and Mount Adams. 

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
5.8 miles

  Elevation : 
100' - 3800'