This trail begins along Stevens Canyon Road and leads one and a quarter miles south to the base of the Tatoosh Mountain Range. It leads to two alpine lakes that lie between Mount Rainier and the Tatoosh Mountain Range. The route has little elevation gain and provides opportunities for fishing, camping and wildflower identification.
Begin this trail from the Bench and Snow Lakes Trailhead located on the southern side of Stevens Canyon Road, 16 miles from Stevens Canyon Entrance. From the trailhead the track ascends steeply at first for 80 feet then summits a formation called the Bench. The trail levels for the next quarter mile then descends slightly to Bench Lake. It reaches the lake in one half mile. A trail leading to the left heads steeply down to the lake. On the shoreline you'll find opportunity for fishing, no license is required.
Walking southeastward from the Bench Lake the trail descends into the valley of a small stream and crosses the drainage. As the track climbs out of the drainage it ascends a small ridge then descends to a fork on the western side of Unicorn Creek. The right side of the fork leads along the western shore of Snow Lake to Unicorn Creek above the lake inlet.
The left side of the fork crosses Unicorn creek and enters Snow Lake Camp. This camp consists of two sites. Site number one lies next to Unicorn Creek making it easy to obtain water. Site number two is more secluded. Backcountry permits are required for camping at Snow Lake. The closest place to the trailhead to obtain these permits is the Paradise Ranger Station.
Directions: From Nisqually Entrance, Drive east along Longmire - Paradise Road 16 miles to a fork in the road. Bear right at this fork and follow the Stevens Canyon Road 3 miles east to the Bench and Snow Lakes Trailhead on the southern side of the road.
Elevation: 4,560 feet
Ending Elevation: 4,700 feet
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Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
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