Ruckel Creek Trail #405

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

This most difficult trail is in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness.  This is a more challenging hike that winds through a variety of forest habitats with spectacular views. The trail begins at Gorge Trail #400 and ends at Pacific Crest Trail #2000.

This trail begins at Gorge Trail # 400 from Eagle Creek trailhead in the Columbia Gorge and ends at the Pacific Crest Trail #2000.  The steep Ruckel Creek Trail offers a wide variety of scenery, botany, and wildlife as it climbs up one of the southern faces of the Columbia Gorge. The trail forks after the forested Benson Plateau about 5 miles out. The trail on the right side (past a “Trail Not Maintained” sign) provides a perfect lunch spot and turnaround point next to Ruckel Creek.

NOTE: Ruckel Ridge 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.

Link to Trail Description and Map (PDF File)

At a Glance

Current Conditions: CLOSED until further notice due to Eagle Creek Fire. 06/10/2020
Open Season: June
Restrictions: Wilderness restrictions apply
Closest Towns: Cascade Locks, OR
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at Eagle Creek trailhead.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Hood River Ranger District

General Information


Access from Eagle Creek Trailhead

(Eastbound) From Portland, OR - take I-84 east to Eagle Creek exit # 41 and follow signs to the Eagle Creek Campground. 

(Westbound) From Hood River, OR - take I-84 west to Bonneville Dam exit # 40. Drive under the freeway and join eastbound traffic. After 1 mile take Eagle Creek exit # 41 and follow signs to Eagle Creek Campground.

To Ruckel Creek Trail:

From the Eagle Creek parking lot near the campground. Walk northeast up the paved road towards the campground the Gorge Trail #400.  Take this trail up the bluff and along the north section of the campground. Keep left and descend to a clearing and a junction with the Old Columbia River Highway. Take a right on the old highway and follow to Ruckel Creek and the trailhead.



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Day Hiking

This hike begins at the Eagle Creek hatchery parking lot. Follow the signs past the campground to Ruckle Creek, not Ruckle Ridge. Trail leads up to the Benson Plateau at a steady climb including 15 switchbacks. A few nice viewing points of Bonneville dam and the Columbia Gorge along the trail. Some beautiful wildflowers in spring.
Elevation desc2660' elevation gain
Difficulty Level: More Difficult

Nature Viewing

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Areas & Activities

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  Area/Length : 
6 miles

  Elevation : 
100' - 4100'


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