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.

Pack List

  • 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
Read More

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

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

9 Miles

Elev. Gain:

3700 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

6 months ago

Be prepared

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.

6 months ago

8 months ago

Round Two?

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.

8 months ago

Added by Patrick Cole

Life is better when spent outdoors. A pure life is lived separate from societal expectations and norms, doing what truly makes you happy. Ambassador/Adventurer for Munk Pack

More Adventures Nearby

Climb to Mt. Hood's Illumination Rock

Oregon / Timberline Lodge

The Pacific Northwest has an abundance of beautiful, technical and fun Alpine ascents.

Connor Charles
15 Saves

Hike the Summit Trail Loop at Smith Rock

Oregon / Smith Rock Parking Area

Smith Rock State Park is an iconic PNW canyon that's become one of the rock climbing capitals of the country, and known worldwide for its sport climbing routes.

Rachel Davidson
33 Saves

Camp at Nehalem Bay State Park

Oregon / Nehalem Bay Campground

Nehalem Bay State Park is a great central location on the Oregon Coast to use as a base camp, whether you want to go south to explore Cape Kiwanda or go north to photograph the famous Cannon Beach.

Andrew Hoang
25 Saves