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Bench and Snow Lakes Trail

MODERATE 209 reviews
#15 of 135 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
icy
muddy
29 days ago

Hiked on October 6, 2019, 8am. Hiked this with my ten and four year olds. Started as sun was coming up. We knew on a Sunday it would get crowded later. Gorgeous trail and lakes. Bench lake is worth the little trek down which wasn’t steep but a little muddy and not many places along shore to really hang out, just snap pictures but the view of rainier from bench lake was amazing!!!! Snow lake had a gorgeous crisp cold teal color. Nice spot to sit on some rocks to enjoy the peaceful view as well as a little trail down to the lake shore. We traveled a little ways beyond the end of the trail to nice little river junction and sat and had lunch and listened to the pika. Nice length and elevation on this hike. Definitely kid friendly. Can stop after to see reflection lakes as the trailhead is near there as well.

hiking
muddy
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful trail, little bit icy and muddy but it totally worth it!

hiking
muddy
snow
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 days ago, clear and sunny. Felt chilly in the parking lot, took about 10 minutes to shed layers. Trail to Bench Lake had some pretty deep "steps", but manageable, some squishy muddy spots... view was worth dirty boots! It's a must to veer right, brings you to a large sandy shore for even more spectacular views. (a boy veered left and I heard him shout, "No Mom, it's lame!") I had to yell back, "Take the trail to the right, you won't regret it, I promise!" Lol. Trail to Snow Lake is definitely "moderate" in difficulty, poles will be a great asset! It's a beautiful hike through meadows, views 360°, and then you see it in all its glory! We didn't go to the falls, maybe next time. We went right and tried to circle back around the left, at the shore line, but with ankle deep mud, we went back a bit and noticed a path up then down to rocks where we had lunch. There was another steep rock opening (both hands and feet or butt scoot down) A few groups almost gave up, but we told them to walk a little further to the trail down. We had a great lunch break, there's a sand bar a family walked out on barefoot and we took pitures for them (from the shore, that water was cold! lol) You gotta do this hike!!!

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Loved the trail. There was a recent light snow that came though so there was snow in the trees which made it look amazing. Overgrown trees and a steep trail at Bench Lake caused us just to move on to Snow Lake. Snow Lake was very nice and peaceful. Both lakes were smaller than we anticipated but it was still worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
2 months 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
3 months ago

Gorgeous, peaceful

hiking
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

short and sweet

hiking
bugs
over grown
4 months ago

Amazing trail with a little bit of everything!

backpacking
4 months 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
4 months ago

too short to be considered moderate

hiking
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 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
4 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
5 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.

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