Bench and Snow Lakes Trail

MODERATE 195 reviews
#14 of 130 trails in

Bench and Snow Lakes Trail is a 2.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Paradise Inn, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September.

Distance: 2.7 miles Elevation Gain: 498 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

Directions from Stevens Canyon Entrance: Drive 15.5 miles westward along winding Stevens Canyon Road to the Bench and Snow Lakes Trailhead located on the southern side of the trail.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
muddy
3 days ago

I went today - it was rainy, overcast & cold. My views definitely weren’t what other photos show but still a good little trail. I would consider this trail easy definitely not moderate as it’s listed. It’s got a couple climbs but nothing crazy. My phone says I went 3.1 miles in 1hour 28mins. The app also says like 500ft incline - the posted sign by the trail says 700ft. Wasn’t crowded maybe 5 other people on the trail.

hiking
16 days ago

Gorgeous, peaceful

hiking
16 days ago

Hike was easy going with minimal elevation changes. Bench Lake teail has some branches that are geowing into the path but puah thru to breathtaking photos of Mount Rainer and a crystal clear Lake. Snow Lake was nice but views were obstructed to the west (Mount Rainer) but you could see all the way up Unicorn creek and see Unicorn Peak. Took us about 2 hours and about 2.5 miles in total.

hiking
19 days ago

Bench Lake has the views of mount Rainer and snow lake is just a lake that has a beautiful color of blue, it was a great incline and decline to the hike, not in my top 10 favorite hikes of the national park but still good!

hiking
25 days ago

Hiked 08/24/2019. Easy, well maintained trail. Took us less than 1 and half hour to do 2.2 mi round trip. Lakes were decent, we have seen better.

hiking
26 days ago

Straight downhill all the way that ends at a majestic lake surrounded by rocky, arid hills. Pure grandeur.

hiking
26 days ago

Hiked Friday 8/23. We were a bit underwhelmed with this trail. The side trails leading to the lakes seemed a bit overgrown and not well-maintained. Saw a few marmots near the sign marking the end of the maintained trail and they made this hike worthwhile.

hiking
27 days ago

Pretty but bench lake is nearly inaccessible, access trail very overgrown and you’d have to walk into the lake to see anythjng

hiking
28 days ago

Decided to do since it was a rainy and foggy day but it was still a wonderful hike. Started with a very clear path, a few points where climbing down over rocks was a bit of a challenge but doable. The path to Bench Lake was a bit overgrown. The fog added a mystic quality to the scenery.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a good hike! Many ups and downs. We started about 8:30 am and there was only 1 other person we saw on the trail!

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of the most beautiful places I've seen. The hike is enjoyable and the scenery is breathtaking!

hiking
1 month ago

short and sweet

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

Amazing trail with a little bit of everything!

backpacking
1 month ago

Camping at snow lake only has two spots which require permits. Site 1 is very open and right by all the tourists. Lots of ups and downs.

hiking
1 month ago

too short to be considered moderate

hiking
1 month ago

Liz had the best description when she said the hike was enchanted. We sat by the lake for lunch and watched the fish swim by. Wonderful day

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Snow lake hike was very nice. It has a nice up/down but also flat hiking as well. The lake is serene & clear. Great views of Raineer on the first part of trail on a clear day.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is so beautiful. I felt like I was walking in an enchanted forest most of the time. That feeling hits a high point when you make it to Snow Lake and see the amazing aqua colored water!!! It is so worth the the trip just for that view. I am not an experienced hiker by any means and I hiked it on a day that was 50 degrees and raining all day and did not have any problems. I would definitely encourage people to take advantage of this beautiful hike!

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this hike so much I did it twice in one day with different weather conditions. beautiful hike and not very difficult. the lakes are stunning and you have great views.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this on July 6th. Really enjoyed this trail. There was quite a bit of up and down throughout the hike which made for a good workout As well, there were some nice parts of the trail that went through the meadows that were beginning to see some wildflowers blooming. I’d say they’d be in full bloom in a couple weeks. The color of Snow Lake was a beautiful emerald green. Enjoyed the view from both sides, but was nicer when taking the trail to the left towards the campground. Read that bugs were bad but didn’t really experience that on our hike.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Visited on July 9. No snow but some mosquitos and other bugs, but not terrible. Clear trail with some steep up and down grades with a beautiful meadow about .3 miles from the trailhead. We walked about .5 miles to a great view overlooking the valley below and Bench Lake. From there the trail is all downhill all the way to Snow Lake.

hiking
2 months ago

7-4-19 afternoon hike. Perfect conditions pretty much had the trail to myself. Decent views of rainier and the view at the lakes is peaceful. Ok the way back I went to the tent sites and you get pretty sweet views of the lakes from over there. Easy to moderate hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked two weeks ago. Beautiful views at Snow Lake even through the dense fog. Easy hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is a hidden gem! We did it around 8 am the first week in July and it was beyond peaceful. It offers amazing meadow views in between the mountains and both lakes are so beautiful! Plenty of spots along the way where you can take a break, plus the option to continue a little further past the maintained trailhead. Definitely recommend this hike as a must!

hiking
2 months ago

We enjoyed this hike so much. If you go to camp you get a beautiful view of Snow Lake. Also if you go past the maintained path you can explore around the end of the lake and see a pretty waterfall and a great view of the lake from the opposite side of camp. Bug spray would be good to take along.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

There were a lot of people on this trail today. Beautiful hike to Snow Lake with an 11yo. He enjoyed it very much and it was just challenging enough for him. Lots of flowers in bloom. Bring the bug spray!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful day on the trail

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is 100% snow free. Short but a little intense in sports. The trail steps up and down with some intensity and some of the steps are knee high, but the views are amazing. that being said I saw people of all ages on the trail doing just fine.

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