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Buck Point Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The Bridge of the Gods and Mt. Adams from the Buck Point viewpoint (bobcat)
The trail begins adjacent to campsite #5 in the Eagle Creek Campground (cfm)
Charred conifers on the Buck Point Trail (bobcat)
Wauna Ridge from just below Buck Point (Jim Sifferle)
The route to the Buck Point Viewpoint (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo/MapBuilder Topo


Hike Description

The hike to the Buck Point Viewpoint is kind of a bookend the the Wauna Viewpoint Hike. Both start at Eagle Creek Day Use Trailhead, and they both climb to viewpoints of the Columbia River beneath power lines. This hike is convenient as a short excursion for people staying at the Eagle Creek Campground. It's also the beginning of the Ruckel Ridge Loop Hike, which has been closed since the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. Note that the trail is accessed from the campground, but day hikers need to start at the Eagle Creek Day Use Trailhead.

You'll start by heading up the paved campground road from the day use trailhead. As the road bends right, you'll see a sign for Gorge Trail 400 on the left. The Gorge Trail rises under a shady canopy of Douglas-fir to the top of a bluff above I-84, and you'll get a view to the fish hatchery below. Then the trail travels next to a protective fence for a ways, with the Eagle Creek Campground on your right. About halfway along the fence, cut in to your right past a campsite to reach the campground road. Head left up around the road. Between Campsites 5 and 6, you'll find a large sign reading "Buck Point Trail #439".

Follow the trail to the right (on your left is the campground amphitheater). Almost immediately, you'll enter the burn zone of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. (Fire crews managed to protect the campground itself.) Without a canopy, the undergrowth is now a tangle of fireweed, trailing blackberry, blackcap raspberry, salal, and Oregon grape. At a switchback, you can look up to the west and make out the dark hulk of Wauna Point. Where the powerlines pass below the point, there's a pylon at Wauna Viewpoint. Five more switchbacks take you above a rock outcropping and close to the powerline corridor. You'll see the snowy summit of Mount Adams peeking up to the east. There are views through the conifers and across the river to Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak. Shrubs like manzanita, hazel, chinquapin, elderberry, buckbrush, and willow are present in the understory.

The trail turns into an unburned slope of trees and makes six short switchbacks into the powerline corridor. A stepped path leads up to Pylon BDF 12, where there is a good view east to the Bridge of the Gods, Stevenson, and Mount Adams, with the spine of Augspurger Mountain sloping down to the Columbia. To the west, past Wauna Point, Munra Point protrudes. At the top end of the powerline corridor, there's a clear view to Table Mountain, Greenleaf Peak, and west to Hamilton Mountain and Beacon Rock. The sheer rocky bluff half obscured by trees just above the powerline corridor is the actual Buck Point. The unmaintained Ruckel Ridge Trail enters the woods on the west side of Buck Point and then turns up above it on scree to attain the ridge crest.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) required
  • Dogs on leash
  • Limited parking; trailhead gets full early on weekends
  • Restrooms, picnic area, campground, interpretive signs
  • Cascade Fish Hatchery open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Bonneville Dam, OR #429
  • Green Trails Maps: Columbia River Gorge - West #428S
  • Geo-Graphics: Trails of the Columbia Gorge
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management: Columbia River Gorge
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • The Columbia Gorge: Short Trips and Trails by Oral Bullard & Don Lowe

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.