Quote of the Month:

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Bench and Snow Lakes Trail

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 15 September 2014
Location: Mount Rainier, Paradise Area
Distance: 2.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 700 ft
Highest Point: 4679 ft
Best time for hiking: July - October
GPS Coordinates: Trailhead: 46°46'04.0"N 121°42'26.0"W

Photo from Mt. Rainier, Paradise Area, Bench and Snow LakesEnjoy the pictures below! They will take you on a virtual tour to the marvelous lakes and will provide great views of this area!


Two pristine alpine lakes, Bench and Snow Lakes, are situated in the Mt. Rainier Area and are very popular among the hikers. The trail provides plenty of beautiful views and takes hikers up and down along the way. It’s very interesting that the lakes are located practically at the same elevation as the trailhead, but along the way you gain 700 feet of elevation.

Photo from Mt. Rainier, Paradise Area, Bench and Snow Lakes

Bench and Snow Lakes Trail takes its’ beginning from the Bench and Snow Lakes Trailhead, which is located on the southern side of Stevens Canyon Road. The path from the parking lot takes you along beautiful meadows of the Bench. Bench Lake is named so because of this flat area above the road, which is called the Bench.

Very soon you’ll come to a small trail that also leads you down to Bench Lake. Hikers do not recommend taking it, it’s much better to stay on the main trail enjoying wonderful views along the way.

Photo from Mt. Rainier, Paradise Area, Bench and Snow Lakes

Bench Lake offers nice views of Mount Rainier and opportunity to fish without license.

From Bench Lake the trail goes down into the valley and crosses a small stream. Then again the path starts climbing up the ridge and shortly descends again and takes hikers to a fork on the western side of Unicorn Creek.

If you turn right, the path will take you to the western shore of the beautiful Snow Lake, and the left path provides access to the Snow Lake Camp.

Photo from Mt. Rainier, Paradise Area, Bench and Snow Lakes

The camp consists of two sites. Camping at Snow Lake is allowed with backcountry permits. You can find them in the Paradise Ranger Station.

Snow Lake is a deep lake with clear tortoise water, which is protected by ridges. This is a perfect place for rest and relaxation. Enjoy the beauty of the nature here, regain energy and get ready for the return way.

If you hike in summer, you will surely enjoy various wildflowers and bear grass. Fall is time for mountain ash and hackberries.


From Enumclaw

Drive east on State Route 410 to the junction with SR 123 at Cayuse Pass. Stay right and merge onto SR 123-Cayuse Pass Highway. Drive south about 11.5 miles to the junction with the Stevens Canyon Road. Drive 15.5 miles west along Stevens Canyon Road to the Bench and Snow Lakes Trailhead located on the southern side of the trail.

These pictures were taken on August 27, 2014

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Alex Mandryko

Information: Marina Petrova

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