8/5/05 Benson Lake Journal (from the Tahoe-Yosemite Journal)

We started out at 8:45 climbing over 1,000' to the top of Stubblefield Canyon - then went down 700' to the bottom of Kerrick Canyon where a couple of college kids were restoring campsites. Actually they were writing in their journals but restoration was their official job. The rest of their crew was off to Virginia Lake to get their food supply from some mules which couldn't go to Kerrick Canyon due to the steepness.

Across the creek (Rancheria?) On some boulders and a shifty log, then along the other side traversing then climbing for a long time - 6 miles? We walked through another steep valley with large glacial erratics mixed with green. Up up up another 1,100' or so to Seavey Pass. There were 3 little lake gardens with rocks and landscaping that appeared as fertile and full of water as if it were the garden of Eden. Granite rocks and untouched grass encircled each of the 3 pools. We ate a bite of lunch sitting on a granite bench next to the last lake but only quickly because clouds were gathering.

Then it was down 1,500' to Benson Lake. My feet were killing me. The view was incredible. Turning the corner, suddenly there appeared a valley full of huge granite domes, tiny domes, domes of all sizes interspersed with trees. Across the valley were rocks of mostly white granite but spots of red rock falls and green rock falls too.

Benson Lake is here in this granite valley surrounded by domes and high vertical cliffs. We arrived with clouds still gathering and while Robert pumped, I put on the rain fly and got the tent fixed with big logs and rocks and then it rained a little drizzle for an hour or so. Now it stopped and we're cooking under an immense white pine nearby. The sun is out on some of the granite domes.