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Bennington Lake

Eastern Washington

Location

Eastern Washington -- Palouse and Blue Mountains
View map below

Length

20.0 miles of trails

Elevation

Rating

5.00 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

A local spot to cool down when the temperatures soar in Walla Walla, Bennington Lake is a favored spot for hikers, birders, anglers, runners, and lots of local wildlife.

In spring, water is diverted from Mill Creek to the lake after the snowmelt has slowed and the lake is less likely to flood. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks rainbow trout in the lake, and anglers flock for several relaxing hours of fishing.

The Sun and Sage National Birding Trail is also here, and a huge variety of birds live here year round, or come through on their yearly migration.

There are more than 20 miles of trails at Bennington Lake, whether you want a long perimeter walk, or just a quick out and back for views of the lake.

The Whitetail Trail is the longest, clocking in at 4.8 mile, with moderate elevation gain. Wind along an old road bed on the west side of the lake, then descend just a few feet to meet the Meadowlark Trail as it follows the diversion canal closely. Along the way, you'll get an up-close look at both native and non-native plants and animals, but won't see quite as much water.

The Meadowlark Trail (2.6 miles) stays closer to the lake and the feeder stream, crossing the diversion canal at the south end using small rock steps. You can simply slosh through the water -- a refreshing respite on a particularly hot day. From here, link up with the Whitetail Trail, which continues up to the north end of the canal and crosses there, adding about a quarter mile to your total distance.

From the north end, the Whitetail Trail heads to the south end of the diversion canal, then begins zigzagging along the property line, while the Meadowlark Trail sticks closer to the stream that feeds Bennington Lake.

Alternately, the Kingfisher Trail is just 1.7 miles, and follows a moderate grade along the north and south sides of Mill Creek itself.

 

Bennington Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.0660, -118.2644 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Eastern Washington -- Palouse and Blue Mountains

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

See weather forecast

Getting There

From Walla Walla, drive Highway 12 east for 4.6 miles to the Airport Way Exit. Turn right to travel across Isaac Avenue onto Tausick Way passing Walla Walla Community College on the left. Make a left onto Reservoir Road, and drive 1.6 miles to the parking area for Bennington Lake. You will pass two other parking areas on the drive that access trails along Mill Creek. Restrooms are available, and parking for horse trailers as well as cars and trucks.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Bennington Lake

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