Ruckel Ridge Loop 3/31/13

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Ruckel Ridge Loop 3/31/13

Post by Jeff_Portland » April 1st, 2013, 10:48 pm

When you read the description of this hike, please, please heed their warning that it is difficult. It is, no joke, 3,800 elevation gain in 4.5 miles. There are very few flat parts on the trail. It is pretty much straight up, then straight down. If you are not in shape for this hike, then I suggest not to do this until you feel that you are in shape. I am not in shape and am paying for it now. The problem with this hike is if you start doing it and get a mile or two into it and want to turn back, you really can't. It's too treacherous going down Ruckel Ridge to go back. Once you started, there is no going back. :) :) bwahahahaha!

Saying all that, it's probably one of the most beautiful hikes I've been on. It feels like Disneyland with a wonderful forest, old trees, beautiful moss, outstanding rock outcrops, moss and color everywhere. On our hike, we were fortunate to be there during some wonderful springtime flowers making their presence known. As far as wildlife, my friends saw deer (I was way too behind) and we heard grouse beating their wings trying to attract the ladies.
4 Viewpoint Bridge Gods.jpg
Nice viewpoint of the Bridge of the Gods.
11 The Guys.jpg
Great rock formation on the way up.
13 Bonneville Viewpoint 2.jpg
One of many of the viewpoints. Great view of Bonneville Damn.
16 Vulture.jpg
We saw this vulture circling the Eagle Creek area and half-jestingly suggested he was keeping track of all us hikers to see who breaks an ankle first.
17 Mountain Flowers.jpg
21 Rocky.jpg
Lots of wonderful rock formations and springtime flowers.
29 Up and Up.jpg
Yes...We are still going up. It never ends.
32 Cat Walk.jpg
This is the cat walk. There are many cat walks like it, but this is the true cat walk. Remember this if you go. If it doesn't look like this, then it isn't the G.D. catwalk!
34 The Top.jpg
We finally made it! What a climb. I thought the climb would never end. So many false assumptions, so many false hopes. :)

There wasn't any snow on the way up, but once we got to the plateau there was 3 ft covering the ground, making finding the trail a tad difficult.
36 Which Way.jpg
Trying to figure out which way to go.
39 Down Down Down.jpg
The trail down.
42 The Guys.jpg
My buddies at a viewpoint on the way down.
43 Wauna Lake.jpg
Wauna Lake from one of the many great viewpoints.
49 Ruckel Creek.jpg
At the very end of the trail, you get a treat to see the gorgeous Ruckel Creek.
50 Drive Home.jpg
On the drive home, I lifted my exhausted arms to get one last shot.

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Re: Ruckel Ridge Loop 3/31/13

Post by kepPNW » April 2nd, 2013, 5:32 am

Nice! That shot of the dam reminds me of an Olde Timey postcard. Loved the one of the bridge, too. Incredible views; I gotta get there this year. So did you go up the ridge and down the creek? I'd been thinking of dropping to Eagle Creek, but "BTDT" so this loop idea is even more intriguing. Thanks for the report!
Back on the trail, again...

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Re: Ruckel Ridge Loop 3/31/13

Post by VanMarmot » April 2nd, 2013, 5:40 am

Thanks for the TR - particularly the snow conditions on the plateau. Good pictures. Most people used to go over the Cat Walk like you did, but now there's a use trail around it to the W.

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Re: Ruckel Ridge Loop 3/31/13

Post by Jeff_Portland » April 2nd, 2013, 8:16 am

Yes, we went up the ridge and down the creek trail. It would be pretty hairy to do it the other way around.

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Re: Ruckel Ridge Loop 3/31/13

Post by [email protected] » April 2nd, 2013, 8:53 am

Very timely and good report - thanks - I'm heading up there this weekend.
BTW - once on the plateau - actually on both sides of the creek, there is some orange spray on the trees and it is hard to see but if you look very closely, you can find it and it does follow the actual way you want t go - again, hard to see but it is there - or at least was last year. Of course, once it melts out, no problem.
Looking forward to the workout and the flowers

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Re: Ruckel Ridge Loop 3/31/13

Post by retired jerry » April 2nd, 2013, 9:00 am

Or, you can just go up until the slope is gradual, then angle to the left and go downhill to Ruckel Creek. Find place to cross creek. Ruckel Creek trail parallels the creek, about 500 feet away from it. It can be tricky to find the trail if it's snow covered. You can always just go downhill paralleling the creek. The trail gradually gets closer to the creek for 1/2 mile, then gradually gets further away.

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Re: Ruckel Ridge Loop 3/31/13

Post by potato » April 2nd, 2013, 3:44 pm

Need to get up there soon...

Cool effect on the last shot. Not quite sure what I'm looking at :)
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