OverviewThe Benson Plateau sits in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, between Eagle Creek and Herman Creek. I don't know if the rocky spires of this peak are climbed or not. I've only hiked on the trails here, so I'll tell you what I know about this landmark I look up at everyday.
The Benson Plateau at it's highest point is 4170 feet in elevation. The Plateau itself appears to be a triangle shaped plateau set between two spires of rock.
There are many loop trails you can do from the Benson Plateau/Herman Creek/Eagle Creek area. Also many various trails for a day hike or overnight hiking and camping trips can be done.
Benson Way, #405-B
Eagle Creek, #440
For a review of this trail on Backpacker.com, a really good description of a hike on the Eagle Creek/Benson Loop.
Herman Creek, #406
Herman Creek Cutoff, #410
Herman Creek Trail contains the largest surviving forest of old growth Douglas fir, cedar, and hemlock in the Columbia River Gorge.
Gorton Creek, #408 (With a lovely side trip to Indian Point)
Pacific Crest - Hatfield Wilderness to #2000
Ruckle Creek, #405
Ruckle Ridge, a trail that isn't actively maintained and is not on any current maps.
There is also the lower level trail that goes from the Bridge of the Gods back to Dry Creek Falls and the start of the Herman Creek Trail.
Getting ThereEastbound I-84 (From Portland, Oregon)– Take the exit just past the Cascade Locks exit #44. Drive through the weigh station area and turn right onto Herman Creek Road. Go 2 miles to the Herman Creek Campground.
You can also start many different hikes from several trailheads all leading up to the Benson Plateau, it just depends on which trail or loop you're thinking of doing.
From the Bridge of the Gods trailhead you can go up Ruckle Creek trail, or hike trail #400 on the lower trails, past dry creek falls and connect with the Herman Creek trail and follow the Pacific Crest Trail up to the top.
Or park at Eagle Creek Trail and do the Eagle/Benson loop trail which I hear is quite strenous, although beautiful, and easy to get lost if done too early in the snow.
Red TapeThe Bridge of the gods toll is $1 each way if you're coming from Washington State. Herman creek campground is $3 a day fee or the Northwest Forest Pass for $35 a year, it's also good at Eagle Creek Campground.
External LinksColumbia River Gorge National Scenic Area,
In the Gorge
Columbia River Gorge Commission
Friends of the Columbia Gorge
Multnomah Falls and the Historic Columbia River Highway
A very nice photographic trip down the Columbia River, with at least one good photo of the Benson Plateau showing the eastern side.
Lewis and Clark's Columbia River - "A Photographic Essay"
CampingPrimitive camping on the Benson Plateau, my husband and I did this years ago, no water though so bring what you need. Eagle Creek has several good camping spots at about starting at high bridge and at 7 1/2 miles up, but can be VERY busy in the summer and on weekends.
If you hike down to Watumn Lake there are camping spots there, primitive but with water.
Trail MapsA map of the Herman Creek Trail system, beginnings of the trails, not a complete map.
Ruckle Creek/Ruckle Ridge trail map.
Pacific Crest Trail Map from Bridge of the Gods, Cascade Locks.
Eagle Creek Trail map