Gold Creek Pond | Snowshoeing at Snoqualmie Pass
Snoqualmie Pass is a haven for winter activities. There’s snowboarding, skiing, and also plenty of great snowshoeing. There are several options for trekking around in the snow, but one of the best for beginners — or experienced snowshoers alike — is Gold Creek Pond and the Lower Gold Creek Basin.
A fair warning: this area can get pretty crowded in the winter. The earlier you arrive the better. Travel east on I-90 from Seattle to exit 54 (Hyak). Turn left off the exit and then turn right onto Lake Mardee Rd/NF-4832. There’s no vehicle access to parking the parking lot or the Gold Creek Pond trailhead in the winter, so park on the street and walk east (or snowshoe, depending on the conditions) to NF-144. You’ll find signs that point to Gold Creek Pond, a couple portapotties, and the crowds gearing up for their adventure. In other words: you’ll clearly see the way up to the Gold Creek Pond trail.
Like I mentioned, Gold Creek Pond snowshoeing is great for beginners and people of all ages. There’s minimal elevation gain (if any) and the trail is short. Despite the heavy traffic near the trailhead, the crowds seem to thin out once you set off on the trails. You can find the main trail about .5-miles after you start your trek from the main road. Again, you’ll see a bathroom and some signage when you get to main trailhead. The Gold Creek Pond trail is a 1-mile loop, but there are several other trails that meander off the beaten path if you want to follow them (just be sure you pay attention to where you’re snowshoeing and don’t get lost).
I’m sure the beauty of Gold Creek Pond and the surrounding Lower Gold Creek Basin varies depending on how much snow is there. When we went showshoeing around the pond, the views were amazing. We hit the trails right after weeks of heavy snow in Snoqualmie Pass, so the entire area was doused in white. It was truly a winter wonderland. Although I don’t know which is which, there are views of Kendall Peak and Rampart Ridge, and not to mention other slopes, hills, and peaks. Gold Creek Pond was pretty much frozen over, and we had a partly cloudy day with breaks of blue skies.
It’s no secret. If you’re looking for an easy winter adventure with plenty of payoff, then snowshoeing at Gold Creek Pond is a great option. Just remember you won’t find yourself isolated in the wilderness. If that’s what you’re looking for — steer clear of here. Otherwise, get out and enjoy winter in the Pacific Northwest. Once you feel like you’ve conquered Gold Creek Pond, expand your horizons and find another awesome snowshoeing adventure in the area!
Have you ever gone snowshoeing at Gold Creek Pond? How was your experience? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to visit around the Emerald City!