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    Bench and Snow Lakes Trail

    Difficulty
    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Easy
    Duration
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    1-1.5h
    Distance
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    3.2 km
    Elevation
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    186 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Bench and Snow Lakes Trail is an easy 3.2 km trail in Mount Rainier National Park that features two lakes and offers some respite from the usual crowds of the park. This family-friendly trail is short, easy to navigate, and Snow Lake is a real treat. Bring bug spray on this trail or you may struggle to complete it.

    View Bench and Snow Lakes Trail on Map

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    Route Description for Bench and Snow Lakes Trail

    The picture-perfect Snow Lake is an emerald-blue gem tucked underneath a mountain bowl, offering a slice of serenity in Mount Rainier National Park. This short trail sees less traffic than other trails in the park, offering some peace and quiet to accompany your fantastic views. The only guaranteed visitors? Flies. Bring plenty of bug spray.

    The trail begins on the east side of the parking lot. Begin climbing on steps and sandy soil. The trail undulates gently over anti-erosion steps. After a half-mile, a rocky outcropping on your left provides a partial view of Mount Rainier and a corner of Bench Lake.

    Continue on, perhaps taking the spur trail on your left at 1.2 km to visit Bench Lake directly. Otherwise, keep hiking, reaching a junction 1.6 km in. The camp is to the left, and the trail goes to the right. Walk to the sign that indicates the end of the maintained trail. Here, you can either choose to explore the lakeshore further or just sit and enjoy the view before retracing your steps.

    In late summer, make sure you grab a handful of huckleberries and blueberries on the way back for strength!

    Getting to the Bench and Snow Lakes Trail Trailhead

    To get to the trailhead for the Bench and Snow Lakes Trail from the west entrance to the park, drive 24.6 km to Paradise junction on State Route 706. Go right onto Stevens Canyon Road (signed Ohanapecosh, Sunrise, Yakima) and continue for 4.3 km to the signed trailhead.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Snow Lake Camp

    • When to do

      July-September

    • Pets allowed

      No

    • Family friendly

      Yes

    • Route Signage

      Average

    • Crowd Levels

      Low

    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Bench and Snow Lakes Trail Elevation Graph

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    Bench and Snow Lakes Trail Reviews

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