Bench and Snow Lakes Trail
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.
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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.
Bench and Snow Lakes Trail Elevation Graph
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Bench and Snow Lakes Trail Reviews
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