DISTANCE
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
137 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

rocky

no dogs

Saturday, December 03, 2016

We did the portion of the Bench Trail between the Peaks View Day Use Area and the Bear Gulch Day Use Area specifically. We chose this portion for its unique contrast to the rest of the park (and actually did it in conjunction with the High Peaks Condor Gulch Trail).

This portion is an out and back totaling about 2.7 miles. It begins adjacent to the road in Peaks View, but soon you encounter a double foot bridge and the trail heads away from the road (or at least to a point where you can no longer see it).

Unlike the rest of the park, this area is marked by deciduous trees, a stream (that stays full despite water shortages), a waterfall, ferns, flowers, and butterflies. It also goes past a meadow, where we saw 3 deer.

You cross the stream several times over wooden foot bridges. There is a steep portion but it doesn't last long. Oh and one point you cross an employees driveway, which can be confusing if you're not expecting it.

We only saw 2 other people on this trail. Very sweet and enjoyable.