The road to access the trailhead is seasonally open to vehicle traffic. Check the current status from the USFS by clicking here. Entrance and parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass.
The Ranger Creek Trail is typically accessed from either climbing up FS 72 (or the alternate route of FS 7174, Noble Knob Trail #1184, and the Dalles Ridge Trail #1173). This forested downhill route has multiple switchbacks packed with roots and rocks. There are a few opportunities to recover and rest at either the Ranger Creek Shelter or the short spur trail leading out to the Little Ranger Creek viewpoint. The bottom end of the trail connects with the White River Trail #1199 allowing for longer loop options.