Winter at Gold Creek Pond

Winter at Gold Creek Pond

By: Shelby January 10, 2017 10:15 am 0 comments

Spenser and I have a Christmas tradition now where we go out for either a snowshoe or a hike (depending on the weather) in the morning and then come home and cook a big pot of something delicious and watch the Christmas episodes of 30 Rock. We didn’t get to do that this year because he was feeling pretty sick Christmas morning, so we slept in. BUT we both had the next day off, so we took advantage of what was going to be hopefully a peaceful Monday and headed back out to Gold Creek Pond for a nice gentle winter walk.

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Gold Creek Pond is one of the most popular snowshoe locations in the state, given its proximity to Seattle, plowed parking area, and easy hiking. We bought our sno-park pass on the way out the door and were on the road by 8. We were last here a couple of years ago to work with Conservation Northwest in restoring this landscape by planting trees.

I-90 Hyak

I-90 Hyak

We made it to the Hyak exit and parked along the nicely plowed road by 9:15, and the line of cars wasn’t too bad at all. There were just a few other cars there, so it we were almost completely alone compared to what we were expecting. We slung our fancy new snowshoe bags over our shoulders and hiked up the closed road up towards the pond.

The snow was completely packed down, so there was absolutely no need for snowshoes at all, or even microspikes. We followed the trail to the pond and saw nobody else there. It was beautiful. It was cloudy and everything was grey, but it was still a good excuse to try out our Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens that we got for Christmas (thanks Dad!).

This wasn’t an exceptionally exciting hike. It was more of a nice winter walk through the snow, enjoying a place we knew pretty well in a different season. Everybody was out trying on their new snowshoes that they got for Christmas, playing with their dogs, and having fun. It was really peaceful. We walked up the road towards the Gold Creek Trail, and stopped when we discovered Heli’s Pond, an idyllic little pond with another well-trod path going around it. We stopped for a break at the far end of the pond and sat on our new waterproof blanket to enjoy the peace and quiet.

By the time we were heading back to the car, it was a little less peaceful; there were dogs running everywhere, crowds of people pouring up the road, and the road was overrun with cars. Despite all that, we were happy to have beaten the crowds to a nice morning outside for the first time in what felt like forever.

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Gold Creek

Gold Creek

Heli's Pond

Heli's Pond

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Sno-Park pass required.
Directions: From Interstate 90, take exit 54, 2 miles east of Snoqualmie Pass summit. Turn north onto FR 4832 and then east, going parallel to the interstate for about a mile. Then take a left onto Gold Creek Road (142) and take another left into the parking lot after about .3 mile.

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