Ruckel Ridge & Ruckel Creek Loop Trail

HARD 31 reviews
#3 of 4 trails in

Ruckel Ridge & Ruckel Creek Loop Trail is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cascade Locks, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
8.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4028 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

no dogs

hiking
1 month ago

Warning to those attempting, do not follow the path suggested here by AllTrails, it is backwards. The Ruckle Ridge portion of the trail should be completed first (uphill). Do not attempt to do it downhill as it is simply too dangerous.

With that said, this was an excellent hike and a real trial by all measures. While not strictly as steep as other hikes in the area, it proves much more difficult in other areas. With many portions requiring hand-over-hand climbing, holding on to roots, rocks, and anything you can grab to get you up the (at times) incredibly steep grades.

This is not a hike for children, pets, or inexperiences hikers.

The views along the way are quite good both in and out. And while some have complained that the end plateau isn't anything special, I found it to be the best part of the hike. After something so straining (and the return hike wasn't an easy stroll either), it was nice to talk an easy walk through a less dense forest and relax at the creek for a little while.

1 month ago

We completed this hike yesterday and had a blast! I lived in Hawaii for awhile and am used to ridge hiking, so I did not find that this lived up the the 'danger' level heralded on parts of the Internets. I found it was much easier on my knees than Mailbox Peak as there were more ups and downs vs straight up, straight down. It took us just under six hours with a quick stop for sandwiches in the woods.

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

We made the mistake of doing this hike in the rain. The rain lasted the full 7 hours it took us to hike.

Around the first rock slide near the ridge we missed the continuation of the trail and back tracked a bit. But eventually found the correct trail.

I was expecting the hike to be a lot more strenuous based on reviews/ impossible in the rain. But, it turned out not to be bad at all in the rain. Even the catwalk was mostly easy to do with only one part that took more concentration to make sure that footing was stable.

Overall, I would've enjoyed the hike more if I wasn't freezing from the rain and the rain/ fog limited the views of the gorge.

If you like to scramble and climb rocks, then this will be an enjoyable hike!

hiking
11 months ago

Did this a week and a half ago with my friend and my girlfriend. She is not an experienced hiker, only having gone on Angels Rest and Munra's point. She was exhausted and scared at the cat walk but with some talking thru she traversed safely. Do not be deterred by what you have read, can be a couple's hike if you are in good shape. It's fun the different types of climbing you get to do and even got to walk across a 25' fallen log over the dried riverbed! Don't be confused by the gradual, but persistent climb up as you will soon be on flat ground trudging thru an eerily silent wooded area, and prepare for your descend on the second half of the loop. After doing Defiance yesterday for the first time, and a 25 pound pack, Ruckel now seems like a cake walk.

Also, Pierre, that is extremely misleading to type. If you took the normal to ascend and descend for Defiance, there is no way Ruckel is harder. Defiance climbs over 3000' in a 3 miles stretch, and then there's another steep set before the top. Ruckel stands 3700 total, is shorter, and never gets as steep as Defiance. I'll acknowledge that Ruckel has more fun and different types of hiking/climbing that Defiance doesn't, but if you have done Ruckel, please do not assume you can conquer Defiance, again my moderately active at hiking girlfriend did Ruckel but she would not have been able to do Defiance, no doubt in my mind.

hiking
11 months ago

Not much a view but a great training hike. Saw some people coming down that had taken a tumble. Please be careful! Hike with a partner, bring lots of water, and a snack or two.

hiking
11 months ago

4th time hiking this trail now its a beast it has everything for a training hike Ups Downs Crawling around bring your gloves the views are kinda limited Ruckle Creek at the top is beautiful and a good rest spot before heading back down its mostly a forested hike this is personally my favorite hike in the Gorge its harder than Dog or Defiance so if your looking to step it up this is the trail for you the start point is in between camp site 5 and 6 Buck point trail

hiking
Friday, July 22, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rewarding! Mental challenge on the ascent but the basalt catwalk(s) are pretty special and the landscape on the descent- as soon as you are at 3,700 changes drastically with a beautiful creek and is so beautiful! And you are rewarded with not so steep descent with treats along the way. Old growth trees, a variety of wildflowers (I did this in late July), grassy hillsides and not to mention the pits. It's also pretty awesome to come out of the trail with the creek and if you're lucky the blackberry bushes are still going if you take a left down the road between the creek and campsites.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

it's a training hike kinda like Nesmith Point very little reward mostly hiking in the forest not hard if your experienced the start point is in-between camp site 5 and 6 on the Buck Point Trail #439 is the start

hiking
Thursday, April 21, 2016

hiking
Thursday, April 21, 2016

This is by far one of the toughest hikes I have done. If you want a great leg workout, this one is for you.
You get to climb 3700' in elevation, walk over scree, climb lots of scrambles, carefully trek over cliffs, walk a catwalk, go up-up-up and then down-down-down.
This trail is NOT for you if you are: an inexperienced hiker, not in optimal health, a child or a dog.

hiking
Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ruckle Ridge is an unmaintained trip up the ridge of Ruckle creek. Caution, there is some exposure on this hike. If you want something pretty nasty with some adrenaline this will work. The notorious 'catwalk' lies about 2/3rd's of the way up and sure intimidated me my first time over. Now it's a twice a year hike. Sollid. Watch for poison oak.

hiking
Monday, November 16, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Very difficult trail, but very rewarding if you need an adventure! :)

hiking
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Some reviews are deceiving here. There are good views along the trail but the peak of it is actually a large flat wooded area with a small creek running through it and no sweeping views or overlooks. For me the best parts of hikes around here are reaching the top and looking out over the mountains, you do not get this with Ruckle Creek and that actually left me pretty unaccomplished feeling when at the top. That being said there are plenty of good views on the hike up, and for challenging terrain it's up here with the hardest in the area.

Climb with a friend and be careful, there are a few spots where the slightest misstep will be your last step. Plenty of people resort to climbing on there butts or hands and knees at a few parts. The hardest part of the trail though is that it is straight up and then straight down. The peak is the only flat part so eat lunch and rest there!. The downhill at the end is honestly one of the most painful parts of a hike I've done. After the brutal climb up, constantly holding yourself back from running downhill takes a serious toll on your knees. Be sure to wear tight shoes and socks to as any shifting in your shoes will lead to brutal blisters. Consider this a hike purely to challenge yourself physically with a few good views early on in the hike. The last 2/3rds of it are purely just a test of willpower and endurance rather than scenic views and scenic hiking outside of being in treed mountain side.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Great views and you will feel you accomplished something. Good hard trail, only complaint could be lack of signs, but that adds to wilderness effect. Be careful when running down bc a couple zig zags cutbacks are near cliffs.