Ruckel Ridge Hike
If timed correctly, the parade of flowers extends from trailhead to trailhead. I’ve never compiled a plant list but that would be a great idea. It’d be quite long. From lower-elevation woodlands, basalt cliffs, oak-savannah, wet mossy springs, upper elevation near-alpine communities and then back down. There’s only a few dull moments along the way during those critical few weeks of spring if you’re at all interested in flowering plants.
- The Ruckel Ridge Hike trail is unofficial. There are no signs.
- Take the 10 essentials.
- If you miss the peak bloom week(s), or are looking for grand vistas, it’ll be more of a workout than you may prefer.
- Anyone with a fear of heights shouldn’t even attempt the “trail” which at times is a bit of a scramble or narrow with drop offs. In the photo above, I am actually on the trail. It gets much narrower and steeper.
- People get lost crossing the Benson Plateau, especially if there is snow (which there will likely be if the plants below are in top bloom); carry a good map. Be on the lookout for the Ruckel Creek trail which you need to take back down. If you miss this trail, you’re in a wilderness.
- Crossing Ruckel Creek in high water can be dangerous. Be careful.
- Don’t attempt this hike in sketchy weather. Going down the ridge in wet conditions is not advised.
- Please don’t take dogs on this trail; or if you do, keep them on a leash.
- There is one section where I always hear grouse. Off leash dogs will scare them.
- This is an area of botanical interest that hasn’t been run over (yet) by tons of hikers. Respect it.
- See my other post on dogs and their impact on wild areas.