Rock Creek Ramble takes place at Escure Ranch, in the unique and beautiful channeled scablands of Eastern Washington. The scablands were formed by the famous Missoula Floods around 15,000 years ago, which scoured the landscape and revealed the towering basalt cliffs you can see today.
In a virtually treeless landscape filled mostly with dry grass, Rock Creek Ramble is likely the most off-trail feeling trail run you will ever experience. You’ll wander a well-marked route along the cliffs, following jeep tracks, trails, and sometimes even cow paths trodden into the dirt. There is little to impede your view, which allows for long and inspiring vistas. Plus, with the start and finish at the abandoned 20th-century Escure Ranch with its metal-sided buildings, you may feel like you’ve gone back in time a bit.
The terrain is generally flat to rolling, punctuated with a few tall mesas that provide short and sometimes steep climbs.
ROCK CREEK DOUBLE
Make a weekend out of the experience by signing up for Rock Creek Ramble Navigation Race on Sunday by Northwest Trail Runs’ sister series, MerGeo Nav Races! What is a navigation race? It’s a ton of fun, can be done hiking or running, and is often done in teams of 2-3. The basic idea is this: checkpoints with varying point values are marked on a topographic map (a USGS map in this case) and your team’s goal is to find as many checkpoints as you can within the stated time limit. At Rock Creek Ramble, you can choose 4, 7, or 10 hours of adventure. Whoever collects the most points wins! Though hurry back before time is up, since there’s a 10-point penalty for every minute you’re late.
You don’t need to be an expert navigator to participate, but you should be comfortable reading contour lines and relating them to the landscape. Due to the great visibility at Escure Ranch (few trees to obstruct your view), Rock Creek Ramble is a more beginner-friendly venue for navigation than the thicker Western Washington forests.
Plus, all participants who participate in both the trail run on Saturday and the navigation race on Sunday will receive a special award to recognize the completion of the “Rock Creek Double!”
Have some questions about the navigation event? Contact Rebecca at email@example.com