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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Viewing Plants

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Areas & Activities

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  Area/Length : 
6 miles

  Elevation : 
100' - 4100'


Tips for beginner campers

Tips for first time campers

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