Benson Hut and Tinkers Knob Trail is a 13.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Donner, California that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

13.9 miles
2,582 feet
Out & Back



nature trips






no dogs

1 month ago

Tinker Knob and Anderson Peak: Donner to Tinker Knob on the PCT is an uncomplicated straight forward 7.5 mile (one way) hike that is mostly over light forest or open ridge with great views. The wind on the ridge was intense on much of our hike but was not a problem on the final, easy scramble to Tinker’s summit. Awesome 360 view from there. Nearby to the SW were Granite Chief, Needle Peak and Lyon Peak. Farther off we could see all the from Pyramid Peak and the Crystal Range south to Sierra Buttes and Mt. Lola north. Leaving Tinker, we returned to the saddle between Anderson Peak then walked over scrub and boulders to Anderson’s high point which is on the east side of the broad summit area. We returned only part way back toward the saddle before dropping down west to rejoin the PCT. Other than more strong winds and a weary climb back up to the ridge east of Mt. Lincoln, the return hike was relatively easy. Our swing up Anderson Peak and a short side trip to Benson Hut, located below the north face of Anderson, pushed our total hike distance to 16 miles with just under 3000’ of gain. This is a very nice uncomplicated hike, and unless you opt for the Anderson Peak add on, it’s all on an easy trail. It is a long hike, though, so be ready for some serious trail time—almost 8 hours for our outing.

2 months ago

Sunrise start meant I didn’t encounter anyone else until about 4 miles in (PCT hikers coming North). Highly recommend it. Incredibly peaceful, with beautiful overlooks and lower temps at that time. Also, I tracked this as about 14.4 miles from trailhead to Tinkers.

9 months ago

Took my girl and my dog out here after a friend told me I should check it out. So glad I did. You basically hike the ridge all the way to squaw valley and it has amazing 360 degree views. Challenging but well worth it

3 months ago

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Saturday, July 18, 2015