Benson Hut is located just below the north face of Anderson Peak, 5.5 miles beyond the PCT trailhead on Donner Pass Road. Expect approximately 1,800′ of elevation gain. Prior experience in the backcountry is required for this trip as the route is long and treacherous, especially in bad weather. Expect bare ground and/or ice where wind has stripped snow from the ridge; beware of cornices on the east side. The hut is very difficult to reach but once in the vicinity, relatively easy to spot. Overnight parking may be arranged with Clair Tappaan Lodge or Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. Topo map: Norden 7-1/2′ quad.
The hut is nestled under the north face of Anderson Peak at 8,350′ and has extraordinary views to the east, north, and west. Use extra caution as surrounding slopes are steep, avalanches are frequent, and weather (when it worsens) can be very dangerous.
Note: There are alternate entry points from Squaw Valley (via Tinkers Knob) and from Donner State Park, but these are likely to be more difficult. Sugar Bowl offers one-way backcountry access lift tickets which effectively cut out the first half of your trip by placing you on top of Mt. Lincoln. Contact Sugar Bowl for more information.
** Call (530) 426-3632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. **
The main room on the ground floor has a wood-burning stove, table, and kitchen area. Six fold-down bunks can be used when the main room is not too congested. Side rooms hold firewood and maintenance supplies. The upstairs sleeping loft can accommodate 12 people. A two-story outhouse is 100′ west of the hut.
Benson Hut was built in 1947-49 by friends and members of the Sierra Club as a memorial to John P. Benson, Jr., who was killed in action in Italy during World War II. For more information on the history of the Benson Hut, see our Benson Hut History Page.