The first time I ever tried getting to the Rugged Ridge trail I didn’t make it. There’s one sign out on Highway 101 that says “Rugged Ridge Trail – 13 miles” and thats where the guidance stops. I missed a turn and never found it that day. After a little research I discovered where I went wrong and now, obviously, I can get there every time.
I’m going to give you the knowledge you need to get there the first time without any trouble.
I love my phone. There are apps for everything, but most importantly the mapping functionality is a lifesaver. Between MyTracks from Google and all the other fitness tracking apps out there you can do some pretty amazing things. For recording my driving routes I like MyTracks. For jogging and hiking I like to use Trimble Outdoors AllSport GPS.
AllSport records a lot of handy information and has many map overlays to use. See an example here. I especially like the elevation profiles and the topographic maps.
Hopefully you can visit this trail. It’s rarely used and there are often trees across the path, but it’s something different to do to get away from the crowds. I have yet to meet anyone on the trail, but there are plenty of elk in the area, plus trout in the Calawah River. If you venture further, (you must wade to cross the river), the Bogachiel River is about 3 miles past the Calawah.