Hike to the Peter Benson Hut

Lake Tahoe Pacific Crest Trail (Donner Summit)

Added by Caitlin Cole

Unforgettable views as you ridge-walk along the Pacific Crest Trail to the base of Mt. Anderson. There you will find the Peter Benson Ski Hut, believed to be haunted. 

Drive to the top of Donner Summit via the Old Hwy 40 and park at the Donner Summit PCT trailhead, just past the Sugar Bowl Academy Building. 

Begin hiking up-hill through a somewhat forested area for about 2 miles. Shortly after you pass the trail sign for the Mt. Judah Loop, you will come to a small clearing where the trail starts to level out and you begin ridge-walking. The trail becomes very open, bare and wind-blown so sun & wind protection are highly recommend. Once you're approaching the base of Mt. Anderson you will see a split in the trail. The PCT splits right to circle around Mt. Anderson, and the trail on the left leads you to the Peter Benson Hut, nestled in between a group of pine trees. 

(5.8 miles one-way to the Hut--- 11.6 total milage)

The Benson Hut can be reserved for overnight trips (530-426-3632). The Hut has a wood-burning stove, kitchen area, 6 fold-out bunks, a loft that holds roughly 12 people, and an outhouse 100 yards from the Hut. Many over-night visitors to the Hut have reported hearing strange noises and seeing a young girl in 1800's looking clothing, who quickly disappears before them. 

This hike can be accomplished year-round depending on one's skill level. This area offers great terrain for those who enjoy (ski / snowboard / split-board etc.) backcountry adventures in the winter time. (Note: on the Sierra Club's website, they do state that people who venture out to the Hut during the winter months, MUST have prior backcountry experience due to high avalanche risk and bad weather.) The fall offers some nice colors and cooler temperatures. The best time for viewing the wildflowers is between mid-June and mid-July. 

Elevation of the Hut is 8,350 feet. Head here for more info: http://clairtappaanlodge.com/b...

Pack List

  • Sun Protection (sunglasses, hat, sun screen)
  • Wind Protection (layers)
  • Water & Food
  • Map, Compass
  • First Aid Kit
  • Camera
  • Hiking Boots
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

11.6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1800 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

4 months ago

Benson!

Epic. Did not see the ghost but got to watch a big plume of smoke envelope the valley. 10/10 doing again.

4 months ago

Added by Caitlin Cole

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