Benson Lake Trail #3502

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Beginning at Benson / Tenas Trailhead, the 7.5 mile Benson Lake Trail #3502 heads west uphill through an alpine mixed conifer forest. Just before reaching Benson Lake, the trail enters the Mt. Washington Wilderness. Passing through forests and marshes east of Benson Lake, the trail continues north, switching back uphill to pocket meadows and a junction with Tenas Lake Trail #4340. The trail continues north to Scott Mountain Trail #4339, then breaks west, continuing through the alpine mixed conifer forest downhill past The Knobs to end at Tenas Lakes Trailhead.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Starting in 2021, visitors to the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness Areas may need a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for overnight and day use. Learn more.
Operational Hours: Access is dependent on McKenzie Highway (OR Hwy 242), which is closed in the winter. Check for conditions.
Permit Info: Wilderness Permits required for visitors to the Mt. Washington Wilderness:
  • Day and Overnight visitors: Central Cascades Wilderness Permit required between Friday of Memorial Day weekend and the last Friday of September; reserve at or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Learn more.
  • Free, unlimited Wilderness self-issue permit required last Saturday of September until October 31 (available at trailhead)
Usage: Heavy
Water: Requires treatment
Passes: A valid recreation pass may be used as a form of payment at Benson / Tenas Trailhead
Information Center: McKenzie River Ranger Station

General Information


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  Area/Length : 
7.5 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
5000 feet