Ruckel Creek History Sign
About half a mile east of the Eagle Creek Trail History sign on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, is Ruckel Creek. This small creek drops 3700 feet from the top of Benson Plateau. Hiking trail #440, Ruckel Creek, roughly follows the creek path.
Where the creek and trail path merge, a small vintage bridge crosses the creek. Below you can see where the creek has eaten away at the rock over the centuries. The history sign here says:
“Ruckel Creek; REQUIM for a romantic byway”
“Yesterday’s bubbling conversations fade into the sounds of nearby Ruckel Creek and the roar of Interstate 84. Gone are the frolicsome days of the 1920s when automobile travel was a novelty. “Sunday drivers” bounced, bumped and backfired out of the cities and onto the open highways, wooed by miles of scenery within a day’s drive.”
“The Historic Columbia River Highway, one of the first paved highways in the Pacific Northwest, dazzled travelers senses with aesthetically designed engineering marvels and spectacular scenery.”
“Romantics at heart, visionary Sam Hill and Samuel C. Lancaster may have known their road could not last. The very forces that drove them to create a magnificent Columbia River Highway, made it obsolete within an extraordinarily short time. Ironically, the automobile both prompted and doomed it. Intoxicated by the freedom of motoring, drivers demanded direct routes and swift speeds. The easy pace of Lancaster’s time was lost forever.”
It’s possible to get to the foot of the falls, but it takes a bit of time to go off trail and back track. While much less spectacular then other nearby falls, it’s still none the less an interesting view.