Benson Lake Loop

Benson Lake is located at 7580 feet in the northern wilderness of Yosemite National Park and is known as ‘The Riviera of the Sierra’ due to its wide sandy beach. The lake – filled with rainbow and brook trout – was named after Harry Coupland Benson, an army officer stationed in Sequoia and Yellowstone National Parks in addition to acting as superintendent in Yosemite from 1905 to 1908.

The Benson Lake Loop is a popular backpack and for good reason – spectacular scenery throughout with some great photography opportunities!

A 50 mile loop in Northern Yosemite beginning at Twin Lakes includes five passes, Benson Lake, Volunteer Peak and a 15 mile stretch of the famous Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It passes through thick forest as well as beautiful alpine lakes. In addition it traverses the wide and long Kerrick Meadow, crosses over several high elevation passes, threads up Matterhorn Canyon and Slide Canyon before descending into thick forest again. Most people do this loop counterclockwise.

  • Highlights: Beautiful alpine lakes, verdant forest, high elevation passes
  • Near: Bridgeport, CA
  • Distance: 50 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 3500 ft
  • Hike Time: 5 days
  • Difficulty: 8/10
  • Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
  • GPX Download Link: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Tom Harrison Map: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Recommended Campsites: Crown Lake, Matterhorn Canyon, Smedberg Lake, Seavy Pass, Snow Lake via RI pass.
  • Wilderness Permits: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Dog Friendly: No
  • Kid Friendly: Yes

Getting to the Trailhead:
From Bridgeport: Twin Lakes Rd. to trail head.


Google Map Link


Trail Map


Trail Profile










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