From Evergreen Trail Guide
Ranger Creek is a great trail to ride. Technical singletrack, beautiful forests, good climbing, fun descents, technical sections and crazy switchbacks that will challenge the most advanced riders.
How to find it
The "easiest" way to reach the Ranger Creek trailhead is climbing Forest Road 72. There is a small turnout at the bottom of the road where you can park and begin the climb. Follow F72 passing all spur roads for 7.4 miles until you reach F7250. Follow F7250 staying right at the Y at 8.5 miles and continuing straight at the intersection at 9.5 miles. The trail begins where the road ends at 10.2 miles. Theres a trail intersection at 10.5 miles, Ranger Creek drops to the right while Dalles Ridge continues straight. At 11.5 miles the trail splits with Ranger Creek dropping to the right and Palisades heading straight up a short climb.
Alternatively, go East on Hwy 410 from Enumclaw about 30 miles, turn south onto Rd 7160, Buck Creek Rd. Go across the bridge and immediately turn left into a parking lot. This is upper Skookum Flats trailhead.
To access the lower trailhead ride back out to Highway 410 on Buck Creek Rd. Cross the highway heading West, immediately find a benched straight trail climbing directly to White River Trail. Turn right and climb up a hill a very short distance (about .1 miles). Be attentive for the trailhead may be tricky to spot, towards the top of the short climb the trailhead hooks sharply to the left and begins a steady nonstop ascent up the drainage.
Its possible to reach the top by riding White River Trail to the Palisades Trail and climbing to the log shelter, then you can choose to drop down Ranger Creek or Climb up to the intersection with Dalles Ridge
It's common for riders of Ranger Creek Trail to park at Camp Sheppard as well.(east side of 410). Forest Parking Passes are required for all parking areas suggested. Off the highway a few hundred yards east of Camp Sheppard is a small turnout on the east side where you can park without need of a pass.
The top of Ranger Creek sits at 5400 feet while the junction of Ranger Creek and Palisades is at 4900 ft so check snow levels before you head out.
Trail is clear to the shelter. Winter snow has melted - may be some fresh stuff depending on freezing level. All trees cleared. http://forums.mtbr.com/washington/ranger-palisades-clear-snow-blowdowns-855928.html Jackd49 09:29, 27 May 2013 (PDT)
Fairly technical singletrack with exposure. Most people will descend this trail starting at the junction of Dalles Ridge Trail, above the log shelter where the trail intersects with Palisades Trail. Yet it's quite common for a hearty climber to ascend, which enables you to ride back down Ranger Creek Trail or Palisades Trail earlier in the season since snow is slow to melt off above on Dalles Ridge. The trail is pretty consistent from the log shelter to the White River junction. You will barely if ever have to turn the cranks as it's nonstop descent. Benched singletrack all the way down the drainage with a hearty share of rooty terrain and sharp switchbacks that take a high level of skill to navigate. However for the most part the trail is a ripping run through stands of Doug Fir, but when compared to Palisades Trail epic views of beyond the forest are nonexistent. The section just below the log shelter has advanced tight switchbacks with high exposure, and a drop where the trail has sluffed off, and only the most advanced riders will not hike this section. The climb has 3,600 feet of elevation gain.
Local Points of Interest
The town of Greenwater has food, maps, forest service parking passes, and gas. Wapito Woolies sells maps and also has ice cream, yum.
- Ranger Creek info FS trail #1197.
- Greentrails Map #238-Greenwater
BBTC has lead work parties here, clearing timber from the trail. Also BBTC assisted in an IMBA ride here in 2004.