Benson Plateau via Pacific Crest Trail

Stevenson, Washington

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A geographical oddity, this nearly flat, broad hulking summit is the remnant of an ancient giant lava flow. The agents of erosion have done a wonderful job over the millennia carving out its steep fluted ridges and making it appear like a giant citadel seated at the center of the gorge. Getting to Benson’s expansive flat top requires a bit of storming the castle. Several trails lead to this fortress—all of them steep. The Pacific Crest offers the easiest route—but also the longest.

Benson Plateau via Pacific Crest Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A geographical oddity, this nearly flat, broad hulking summit is the remnant of an ancient giant lava flow. The agents of erosion have done a wonderful job over the millennia carving out its steep fluted ridges and making it appear like a giant citadel seated at the center of the gorge. Getting to Benson’s expansive flat top requires a bit of storming the castle. Several trails lead to this fortress—all of them steep. The Pacific Crest offers the easiest route—but also the longest."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Stevenson
Distance: 16
Elevation Gain: 3,980 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: Late May-Nov
Local Contacts: Mount Hood National Forest
Local Maps: Green Trails Columbia River Gorge–West No. 428S
Driving Directions: Directions to Benson Plateau via Pacific Crest Trail

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May 2018