Trail Run Project Logo

Bench Lake Trail

Intermediate
 4.3 (4)

Lightly used trail into the backcountry, passing rocky cliffs, a tiny lake, with open views, into beautiful fir forest.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

2.6

Miles

4.2

KM

86%

Runnable

6,991' 2,131 m

High

6,235' 1,900 m

Low

187' 57 m

Up

784' 239 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Description

From the Kings Creek Trail trailhead along the park road, Bench Lake Trail is found at the Kings Creek Trail 1.3 mile mark, just before reaching Kings Creek Falls. To run Bench Lake Trail, go right/south off of Kings Creek Trail, descend to Kings Creek and cross it on a good bridge.

After crossing Kings Creek, Bench Lake Trail is flat as it goes through a short stretch of forest to come to an open rocky area at the base of impressive cliffs that rise to the right of the trail. To the left of the trail is the forest. No doubt all these rocks slid down from the cliffs.

At the 0.4 mile mark, Bench Lake Trail leaves the cliffs behind and is again in fir forest. Almost immediately little Bench Lake appears ahead through the trees. The trail arrives at the lake and skirts its shoreline before starting a gradual descent as it leaves the lake behind. Here on this descent are the first views far into the distance to the east and southeast. The terrain is more open here - dotted with pines and covered with a low growing manzanita ground cover. Bench Lake - Sifford Lakes Trail is passed at the 1.0 mile mark as Bench Lake Trail levels off temporarily.

At the 1.3 mile mark the gradual descent picks up again as Bench Lake Trail now follows the crest of Flatiron Ridge for its last 1.3 miles down to the PCT. Still in open terrain, the south side (to the right of the trail) of Flatiron Ridge drops off steeply to Warner Valley below. Looking down the valley, distant views of Juniper Lake and mountains can be seen. Closer by, Sifford Mountain, 7,408 ft., is seen across the valley. As the trail continues to drop, it re-enters the fir forest, thus hiding the views.

After 2.6 miles Bench Lake Trail ends at the PCT deep in the Lassen Volcanic National Park backcountry.

Flora & Fauna

Sections of fir forest with thin ground cover, and open sections dotted with firs. Much of the ground cover is a very pretty bright green low growing type of manzanita. Wildflowers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes

#9069

Overall
  4.3 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
75%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#893

in California

#9,069

Overall
3 Views Last Month
152 Since Jul 2, 2020
Intermediate

0%
25%
75%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Looking up from the base of Kings Creek Falls.
Jul 6, 2020 near Chester, CA
Kings Creek Falls
May 30, 2018 near Chester, CA
Kings Creek Falls
May 30, 2018 near Chester, CA
Kings Creek Falls are 40-50 feet tall as they plunge over a black basalt cliff.
Jul 5, 2020 near Chester, CA
Cliffs rise above this stretch of Bench Lake Trail as it runs through rocks that came down off the cliffs over the years.
Jul 3, 2020 near Chester, CA
Tiny Bench Lake along Bench Lake Trail.
Jul 3, 2020 near Chester, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none