Tenas Lakes

McKenzie Bridge, Oregon 97413

Tenas Lakes

Tenas Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"A day hike or overnight backpack in the Mount Washington Wilderness, leading to several scenic lakes with glacial features. Follow the marked Benson Lake Trail as it meanders northwest through lodgepole pine forest. You’ll also see subalpine fir, mountain hemlock, and grand fir in this alpine forest. None of the trees look very old, which is not surprising in this active volcanic area. After about 0.5 mile, the trail begins to climb, though never steeply. When it levels out again, watch for Benson Lake, visible through the trees to the left. The turnoff is unmarked. It’s worth spending some time here, because the views change constantly from different points along the shore. The main trail continues north, through forest now dominated by fir and mountain hemlock. Another, shorter climbs leads to the marked turnoff to Tenas Lake, which is a small but highly scenic rockbound lake. Some of the rocks bear obvious glacial signs in the form of striations. These long scratches indicate the direction of ice movement and are caused by rocks imbedded in the ice dragging over the bedrock. The scouring action of the glacier, acting as a giant rasp, digs out large depressions, which later become lakes, after the glacier has melted. The glacier also acts as fine sandpaper, sometimes leaving an almost mirror-like polish on the bedrock. Permit required for day and overnight hikes; self issue at trailhead."

Tenas Lakes Reviews

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There's parking, and bathroom area before hitting the trail. Day parking permits were also available at trail head. The trail was a moderate climb for most of the way up. There are three lakes along the way, but Tenas lake is BY FAR the most beautiful. It's very clean and warm enough to swim in, so bring a suit and enjoy. A great place for a day picnic. But, take your Vit. B1 or Bug spray, because the mascito's have also found this hidden little get away!

Tenas Lakes Photos

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Trail Information

McKenzie Bridge
Nearby City
620 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Backpack or day hike
Best summer and fall
4,840 feet
Trailhead Elevation
5,460 feet
Top Elevation
McKenzie Ranger District, Willamette National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Linton Lake; Mount Washington Wilderness Geo-Graphics; Willamette National Forest
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018