Bench Lakes Trail

MODERATE 23 reviews
#5 of 56 trails in

Bench Lakes Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Idaho that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
7.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1240 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

hiking
3 days ago

We took our 2 and 5 year olds from the main trailhead and back. No boat for us. The views of Redfish were nice as we walked along the ridge and watched boats shoot across the lake. We also saw a very cute weasel or ferret of some kind. The actual destination though was a very buggy lake that was sub par for what other things you could see in the area. If all the hikes that are possible in the area are accessible, I would not recommend this one. We did this simply because the hikes we wanted to do are still frozen over.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful hike! There are five lakes but the tail only goes to the first two. You have to bush wack your way to the others. There was an odd combination of mosquitoes and snow up there when we went. Popular family hike so go early to avoid them.

hiking
4 days ago

Hiked this trail the first week of June and it was awesome. Great weather, not a mosquito in sight (when everywhere else had tons) and I went early-ish (~8am) so encountered few hikers. The trail itself was really pleasant; the grade was low enough that I didn't break a sweat though it still seemed like good exercise.
This trail had great variety; the first part of the hike started in a dense forest, then the middle was along the lake on a ridge, and the final part switch-backed through a mountain meadow with pristine lakes. At the end of the hike I walked to the lodge to grab a beer and dip my feet in the lake. Definitely recommend this hike for a pleasant day!

hiking
6 days ago

This hike is really great for kids. We took 6 and the youngest was 6. It’s a gradual climb and the change in scenery along the way is a big payoff. The wildflowers are currently going off. Will definitely do this hike again.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked up to the second lake, took a swim, and hiked back out. There is a shuttle from the lodge that will take you across and I think you can just hike straight up or down if you want a round trip. Check the map.

We went during beautiful wildflowers season. The path was lined with flowers in certain areas. Super beautiful.

Super quiet. We plan on doing this hike again this summer!

hiking
9 months ago

Easy trail giving you views of redfish lake as you go.

9 months ago

Nice hike with beautiful views

hiking
9 months ago

Trail just as described. It appears there's no trail to the upper 2 lakes, just the lower 2. I plan to return and allow more time in the day to bushwack to the upper lakes - Got started too late to do that!

backpacking
10 months ago

The trail was easy to navigate, but there are a lot of loose rocks. Ankle support recommended. There are a lot of day hikers from Redfish Lake that use this trail, traffic was fairly heavy during the day. However, I camped overnight at the second Bench Lake and only saw one other person.

The bugs were BAD. There were lots of horse flies in my face and biting me all day, then the most mosquitoes I think I've ever seen at night. Come prepared. I hid in my tent for a good portion of the day to avoid the bugs.

The night was beautiful and great for the astrophotography I came for. I also had a deer visit camp for about 20 minutes in the evening.

10 months ago

Nicely maintained trail, decided to hike only to the second Bench Lake. Tried unsuccessfully to do a little fishing on the two lower lakes. Did run into a black bear on the trail early in the morning.

backpacking
11 months ago

Came up to break in my hammock. Had a lot of fun. Mosquitos were kinda lame, and it started raining in the middle of the night. But that can be easily remedied.

The lake was really nice, way warmer than expected. Kind of crowded, but still a good trip for testing new gear.

hiking
11 months ago

There is a lot of potential in the area. Stanley is a beautiful area. The trail itself was a little over traveled for the first few miles. Once you get back to the first lake you start to lose some of the traffic which is nice. The downside of that is that the trail gets harder and harder to read the deeper you go. I only made my way to the end of the second lake (about 5 miles in) before I decided it wasn't wise to continue. I was by myself. The trail didn't offer as much elevation as I'd had hoped for. But it was still a pretty hike nonetheless. I would definitely recommend if you are looking for a family hike/camping trip. Wasn't too strenuous and I passed a few younger children on the far end of the trail.

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

Frequent views of beautiful alpine lakes. We continued off trail to the upper-most bench lake adding an extra couple miles to the hike. Not too crowded. Saw deer and ptarmigan. Only con is that the trail can get very dusty, kicking it up for the person behind you as you hike.

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

backpacking
11 months ago

hiking
Friday, June 16, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Saturday, November 26, 2016