Backpack Ruckel Ridge
Oregon › Ruckel Ridge
Added by Patrick Cole
You will have Beautiful lookout points for Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and the Columbia River Gorge. Bring a camera because the views are amazing.
This ridge is one of the lesser known paths from the Eagle Creek Trailhead. Instead of taking Ruckel Creek Trail, find the trail leading up Ruckel Ridge. It is a far more difficult hike of about 7 miles leading up to Benson Plateau. Along the way there are beautiful lookout points for Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and the Columbia River Gorge. This is one of my favorite hikes I've ever done, everything about it: the difficulty, scenery, photography opportunities.
The trail includes several rock faces which must be climbed, along with some steep inclines. The consistent incline does not stop for the duration of the hike. It begins from the Eagle Creek Trailhead. Head east up toward the high camp ground, then follow signs for Gorge trail 400, then find signs between campsites 5 and 6 for Buck Point Trail.
This is about as difficult as a hike can get before it has to be called something else. Do not attempt with dogs, kids, anyone who is afraid of heights, uncomfortable with rock climbing, or out of shape. Expect this hike to take about an entire day before you link in with the PCT on the plateau.
There are a few campsites along the trail, but no resources. There will not be other water or food sources along the way. The total hike, if the loop is completed will take 2-3 days of moderate paced hiking. If the loop is completed, there are several waterfalls as well. So swimming gear is great for the summer or early fall.
- Overnight supplies
- Plenty of food and water sources
- Photography equipment, as there are some breathtaking views
- Swimming gear
- Rock climbing gear isn't necessary, but may help
- You may want to pack light, as this is a steep incline
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
The Ruckle Ridge Hike is not for the faint of heart (bye far the hardest hike in the whole Columbia River Gorge area). DO NOT ATTEMPT UNLESS YOU ARE VERY WELL CONDITIONED. But for those that do have the ability to tackle it this is an amazing adventure, complete with boulder scrambling, river crossings, and amazing views of the Gorge, Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Be sure to bring a large amount of water and good griping boots.
Ruckel Ridge was nothing less than tremendous in every way. I came unprepared, lacked the necessary conditioning, and eventually found myself fatigued half way through. HOWEVER, finding the end was one of the most satisfying moments I've ever experienced. Every true Oregon hiker must take a crack at this beast.
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to God's Thumb
Oregon / Roads End State Park Parking
From Road's End State Park, map your way to the end of NE Port Street and park on a pull off next to the described gate: on your right you'll see the gate with three skinny trees to the right of it.
Hike to Indian Point
Oregon / Herman Creek Trailhead
Park at the Herman Creek Trailhead in Cascade Locks 2 miles from the exit. Remember to bring your Northwest Forest pass or a $5 payment to park.