THE FOLLOWING MAP IS NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES.
Length: 1.8 miles to the power line overlook and back. Add another mile to the upper overlook and back.
Elevation Change: 570' gain to Buck Point then another 400 feet to the overlook above.
Season: Year Round
Permit: NW Forest Pass Required
Here is another little jewel of a hike located right in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge.
The Buck Point hike begins on the eastern flank of the Eagle Creek Campground, which is located
behind the fish hatchery on Eagle Creek. The only access to Eagle Creek is from the west, traveling
east, and existing Interstate 84 just as you exit the Toothrock Tunnel, a miles east of the Bonneville
There isn't a parking place designated for this hike, so one will have to park in the Eagle Creek TH
parking. Obviously, one would want to park as close to the Eagle Creek Campground as you can, not way
over at the trail head that leads up Eagle Creek itself.
To find the trail head to this hike, begin walking up the road that leads to the campground. Soon you
will come to a sign indicating Gorge Trail with Buck Point trail listed as 2/10 of a mile. Follow this
trail, which will gently climb along the northwest side of the campground area. Soon, a protective fence
lines the trail on the north side. As you walk along this fence, you will come to a sign embedded in
the fence announcing that you are on Trail 400. Immediately to your right, you will see a user trail
leading into the camp area. Follow this trail, and turn left onto the paved campsite road. Follow
this roadway east until you come to campsite 6. Follow the paved driveway into the next campsite, #5,
and look to your left and you will see the trail with a well marked sign designating the trail to Buck Point.
The hike to Buck Point is a series of gentle switchbacks, leading you up over 500 feet in about a half mile.
You will know that you have arrived when the trail breaks out into the open beneath the huge power lines. Follow
the trail to the upper tree line and look back for the best views.
If you have the time and energy and are not concerned about extremely steep trails that are very difficult
to navigate, you might want to continue following the trail another half mile to an exceptional overlook. I have
labeled this place the Ruckle Ridge Overlook as the trail is actually the trail that goes all the way up
Ruckle Ridge to Benson Plateau, where it intersects with the Ruckle Creek trail, and brings you back to the
very place you started this adventure. However, I will leave that adventure for another trail report.
Nevertheless, if you decide to continue up to the overlook ridge, be extremely careful. The trail is very
dangerous, steep, slippery and difficult to navigate under the best of conditions. Actually, I found that
coming down was the hardest part of the adventure, and managed to fall once.
How to get there:
Coming from Portland, travel eastbound on I-84, and turn off at Exit #41. At the bottom of the ramp turn right.
Go about 1/2 mile to the end of the road. You will go passed a footbridge (that takes hikers up to Wauna Viewpoint)
as the road narrows to one lane. Continue a short ways to a large parking lot, parking only in designated spaces.
(Coming from the east, be aware, there is no westbound exit at Eagle Creek. You must continue on I-84 and get off
at the Bonneville Dam exit, get back on the interstate and backtrack to exit #41.)
There are really a couple a major trailheads here. The Eagle Creek Trail starts at the end of the road. All of the
Eagle Creek hikes start there. The Wauna Viewpoint Hike starts by crossing the suspension bridge. All of the other
hikes start at the bridge, as well, but begin by walking away from the bridge up the campground road.
A Virtual Hike of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area