Getting there: Overnight parking is available at Sierra Club’s Clair Tappaan Lodge on Donner Pass Road, or at Sugarbowl Ski resort. Sugarbowl offers a one-way lift ticket for $25 if you want to spend less time hiking and more time skiing. From Mt. Lincoln it’s 3 miles south-east along the ridge to the hut located on the north face of Anderson Peak. From the Clair Tappaan Lodge it is about 1200 vertical feet from Lake Mary to Mt. Lincoln along the Pacific Crest Trail. Previous ski mountaineering experience is advised. Expect bare patches and ice between Mt. Lincoln and the hut and the ridge is often exposed to high winds. There is an alternate route starting from Squaw Valley via Tinker’s Knob.
Reservations: Benson Hut follows the same reservation policies as the Peter Grubb and Bradley huts.
The lodging: There are six fold out bunks downstairs plus a loft that can sleep 12. There is a wood stove for heat and firewood is stocked each fall. Expect to bring your own cook stove, utensils and entertainment. There is a two-story outhouse nearby.
The skiing: Benson offers access to open bowls and some gnarly lines without having to skin up until after your first run. The runs are short allowing you to make as many laps as you can handle. The hut is sometimes used as a stop on a two-day Donner Summit to Squaw Valley tour.
Photo courtesy of the Sierra Club.