Are you in the Seattle area and looking for a short (less than 2 mile) and relatively close snowshoe hike that is a great way to introduce newbies or kids to the enjoyment snowshoeing can provide? Well, here is one my family and I have done a few times now, that’s just on the East side of Snoqualamie Pass. The trail head is easily accessible, the trail is very clearly marked, well traveled and flat. It’s perfect for young kids (my 5 year old does this one ) or anyone just looking for a leisurely stroll in the snow.
First of all, you will need a WA Sno-Park pass to park your vehicle. I don’t recommend skipping this and risking it… This is a very popular area, and every time my family and I have been here, there has been a WA Park Ranger checking. Purchasing a pass is very easy to do before you go, you can click HERE to get to the Snow Park pass site, pay the fee and they email you a temporary pass you can print at home and place in your windshield.
If coming from Seattle, take I90 East towards Spokane. Get off of the Interstate at exit 54. Turn left at the stop, pass under the interstate and turn right when the road ends.
After a short distance, you will see vehicles lined up along side the road. Find a parking spot, gear up and this is where the fun begins.
Right off of the road you will see some port-a-potties and the sign for the trail. This is where you put on your snowshoes and begin walking the well groomed .3 of a mile trip to the Gold Creek Pond.
On the trail you will meet other snowshoers, cross country skiiers and the occasional, very courteous snow mobiler. Don’t freak out, this isn’t a public snowmobile trail. There are a few private cabins back near Gold Creek Pond and these are the owners of those cabins heading in or out.
The trail can be very busy on warm sunny days, but on this particular occasion, due to the recent heavy snowfall, we had a lot of time to ourselves.
Follow the trail when it forks to the left. Continue until you cross a small bridge and you will soon be at the Gold Creek pond.
At this point you can either circle the Pond in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction. We choose to go clockwise for no particular reason. From the pond to your left, you will see the trail head into the pine trees. Follow the trail and stop along the way to learn about the history of the pond.
From the other side of the pond, you can look back across and see the slopes of the Summit at Snoqualamie ski resort.
The scenery is beautiful. It feels great to be nestled at the bottom of the Cascades.
There are plenty of moments where the scenery opens up or changes, like this small bridge crossing, to keep kids from getting bored.
We were blessed on this day with plenty of fresh snow and very few people.
Continue to follow the loop around the pond, enjoying the scenery.
Eventually, the loop will take you back where you began, at the front of the Pond. Take the trail back out to the road and you’ve completed this nearly 2 mile round trip excursion.
The Gold Creek Pond Loop is a great trail to introduce kids, or anyone else who is interested in trying snowshoeing, to the beauty and winter enjoyment that snowshoeing provides. Be sure to take some water, maybe pack a sandwich, some sweet treats to keep kids moving or maybe even a small thermos of hot chocolate, and get out there and enjoy the snow!