This trail connects Eagle Creek with the Pacific Crest Trail immediately south of the Benson Plateau. It gains about 3000 feet in 3 miles. For years it was in terrible condition, but was recently renovated by a local group who removed a reported 100 logs that were down across the trail. I have posts on Eagle Creek and the PCT / Benson Plateau elsewhere, so here I'm just covering the Eagle-Benson Trail.
Five miles up Eagle Creek is the fairly innocuous sign indicating that you are going to go on a very different trail.
And the steep and rough start
After dropping down and crossing a creek, you go up the other side and cross above a big cliff, without cables.
Then there is one of these things. This is the same falls you see looking up from the Eagle Creek trail where it crosses a tributary on three logs.
Then its up and up a narrow ridge, like many similar gorge ridge climbs
There were some flowers in bloom part way up
The trail then goes through an extensive burned area, which is one reason why there were so many logs down
A lttle over half-way up, there is a great place for a break. Somebody camped here - there is an old fire ring
Tanner Butte across the canyon
Near the top, there is another good viewpoint, about 3/4 mile before the junction with the PCT
Soon after is Smokey Creek
I camped just 50 yards away. This is about 200 yards below the junction
The junction means I'm back in civilization
Going north on the PCT up onto Benson Plateau, conditions started to change
And were quite different on top. I did not expect this much snow
But I did get a decent view of Mt. Hood.
Near sunset I walked south on the PCT a little ways to an open area for a nice sunset shot of Mt. Tomlike and the area.