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Rudolph Spur loop, the canonical version. Sept 29, 2007

Posted by pablo (2007-09-30)

I volunteered to take on the Rudolph Spur page of the hiking guide but when I got around to actually writing something about it I realized I had not done precisely the #25 hike described in the Lowe's 50 Hiking Trails. The loop I did earlier this spring went up Rudolph Spur with a return on the PCT, in retrospect, a little less statisfying than returning via Ruckel Creek. So wanting to describe the 'canonical' Rudolph Spur loop I established a couple goals, one to do the loop so I could write about it and the other to get as close as possible to the photo used in the Lowe's work. With the weather forecast disintegrating from Thursday on, I was expecting to get shutdown on the picture part - the viewpoint from where the picture was taken is at ~2700' - easily under the clouds on most rainy days.

BTW, parking at the PCT Winter Trail Head next to Bridge of the Gods was free 'cause Saturday the 29th was National Public Lands Day. I didn't know that - there are people in Oregon that did a bunch of stuff.

Apart from being a strenuous hike, nothing much has changed since I did this in May. Someone put up a couple of rock cairns marking a steep scramble section of the trail where last time at this spot I took off on a game trail. In EddyB's recent trip report of Rudolph Spur, he observed orange ribbon in addition to the yellow paint spots at the approach to the Ruckel Creek Trail on the Benson Plateau. I tended towards the yellow spots but both get you to the Ruckel Creek Trail. Having ribbons and spots could be a little confusing.

Both Rudolph Spur and Ruckel Creek trails were pretty wet in spots and I was more cautious than usual because of slick rocks and mud.

I did get rained on but periodically the clouds would clear and I'd get shot opportunities from the viewpoint at 2700'. Sometimes the clouds would create ghostly apparitions of hikers past.



Using the 12x zoom on my point&shoot, I spied the after effects of the fire on the old mill at Stevenson. Refer to EddyB's photo from his trip report. A before-the-fire insert in the upper right shows the devastation was pretty complete.



Great views along the Ruckel Creek Trail. I ran into a couple of hikers wanting to bushwhack to the falls on Ruckel Creek - Water might be a problem for the falls this time of year.

At any rate, mission accomplished - now to complete that field guide entry.

Around 12 miles with cumulative elevation gain around 4600'.

Trip details:

Re: Rudolph Spur loop, the canonical version. Sept 29, 2007

Posted by Splintercat (2007-09-30)
Geez, Pablo... that Photoshop "angel" practically gave me a heart attack! First, I thought it was some sort of statuary, then immediately recognized it from the Lowe book! Hehehehehe...

-Tom

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