Latitude / Longitude:
37°49′09″N 118°28′35″W / 37.81917°N 118.47639°W / 37.81917 -118.47639
5,387 ft (1,642 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Benton (formerly, Benton Station) is a census-designated place in Mono County, California, United States. It is located 3 miles (4.8 km) east-northeast of the community of Benton Hot Springs and 32 miles (51 km) north of the community of Bishop, at an elevation of 5387 ft (1642 m).
Benton is in area codes 442 and 760 and ZIP code 93512. It is also known as Benton Hot Springs because of the hot springs it features. Benton was once a small mining town with up to 5,000 inhabitants. Many of the original buildings still remain, but the town has never completely died. The 160 acre (65 hectare) Benton Paiute reservation is in the vicinity with about 50 full-time residents. Benton is one of the oldest existing towns in Mono County. Benton was founded by the western Indians who came to make use of its hot springs. As the nearby towns of Bodie and Aurora grew in size and population, Benton soon became a check-point for travelers on the way south in 1852.
The population was 280 at the 2010 census, up from 196 reported at 2000 by Mono County.
Gold was discovered in the hills of Benton in 1862, and its population quickly grew. After hitting the initial strike of gold, not much more was found, but Benton’s profits were soon primarily from silver. Unlike other mining towns, Benton was able to provide enough for the town to thrive and flourish for approximately 50 years. Although most mining activity occurred between 1862 and 1890, the town never completely collapsed. The Carson and Colorado Railroad reached Benton in 1883.