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Bench and Snow Lake Trail

Intermediate

Trail

2.3 mile 3.7 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 420' 128 m
Descent: -423' -129 m
High: 4,701' 1,433 m
Low: 4,565' 1,391 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Tom Robson

A relatively easy hike rewarded by abundant wildflowers and panoramic Rainier views.

Tom Robson

Features Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly This slightly hilly hike will take your family past two beautiful lakes, Bench and Snow.

Overview

Bench Lake is so named because the flat area around the lake is called "The Bench." Snow Lake may have been named because the cirque in which it lies is filled by icy meltwater from the snowfields of the Tatoosh Range or because snow often rings the lake until late summer.

Need to Know

The Snow Lake Camp is often late melting out and may be snow-covered until July. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.

Description

The trailhead is located one and a half miles east of the Reflection Lakes parking area on the south side of the road.

The trail is a succession of gradual ups and downs as it crosses a series of low ridges. The path first reaches Bench Lake after .75 mile, then continues another .5 miles to Snow Lake. Most years these lakes do not melt out until late July and the trail can be muddy until then.

Flora & Fauna

In mid-summer, this area explodes with a variety of wildflowers and an abundance of bear grass. In the fall, mountain ash and huckleberries color the scene. Quite visible is a silver forest of trees which remain from a past fire. Expect good views of Mount Rainier on clear days. There is always a chance of seeing black bears as well.

Contacts

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Check-Ins

Sep 4, 2019
Jake Westover
Aug 26, 2019
Neha Shah
2.7mi
Aug 26, 2019
Kae Watanabe
Aug 21, 2019
Johannes Raatz
Backpack w Michael
Jul 23, 2019
Abby Hric
Jul 17, 2019
Chad DuBois
Jul 15, 2019
Kjaella Terlson
2.5mi — 1h 19m
Jul 3, 2019
Emely B
Best hike - great views of Mt Rainier & Snow Lake

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 17 votes

#4

in Paradise

#954

Overall
  4.3 from 17 votes
5 Star
41%
4 Star
47%
3 Star
12%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Hike Rankings

#4

in Paradise

#66

in Washington

#954

Overall
22 Views Last Month
2,564 Since Feb 26, 2015
Intermediate

7%
0%
86%
0%
7%
0%

Photos

Bench Lake at  Mount Rainier National Park
Aug 19, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
Bench Lake
Jul 27, 2016 near Eatonville, WA
View of Snow Lake.
Jul 31, 2019 near Greenwater, WA
Halfway point to Snow Lake.
Jul 31, 2019 near Greenwater, WA
View of Mount Rainier from the Snow Lake trail.
Jul 31, 2019 near Greenwater, WA
View from far side of log crossing.
Jul 6, 2016 near Eatonville, WA

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