Gold Creek Park: Visiting the Pond

If you are looking for a short, accessible hike that offers stunning views of the water and mountains, look no further than Gold Creek Pond at Snoqualmie Pass.

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Gold Creek Pond, located in Kittitas County, features a 1.2-mile paved loop trail system that is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. It’s a great hike for beginners and families. Photographers looking to bolster their portfolio can obtain the ultimate nature shot of a crystal clear blue lake surrounded by trees and mountains. The 1.2-mile trail will take you pretty far up the valley as you mostly follow Gold Creek north toward Chikamin Peak in the distance

Gold Creek Pond

During the summer you will go through the willows, and see beautiful wildflowers along the creek. Hikers will leave the paved trail and continue onto a well-maintained boardwalk, until crossing over the creek on the pond’s north end. If you continue back on the trail, you will eventually arrive at a picnic ground. Enjoy your snacks or lunch at the picnic tables, while looking at the stunning mountain views around Gold Creek Park.

Gold Creek Pond

Know Before You Go

A Northwest Forest Pass is required for your vehicle. You can purchase one online.

In the summer, you can drive all the way up the road and park right in a parking lot by the restrooms and picnic tables. From there, it’s only a few hundred yards to the edge of the pond.

Gold Creek Pond

Gold Creek Pond History

Gold Creek Pond actually used to be a huge gravel pit during the 1970s. Construction crews building Interstate-90 nearby at the tip of Lake Keechelus used the pit until the 1980s. At that point, the site was cleaned up and eventually became the deep, clear pond we see today.

Gold Creek Pond

Since this area is easy to get to, well-maintained, and affords incredible views of the Cascades, it is almost always a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, no matter the season. So be prepared to share the trail with some other people, unless you’ve got plans to bushwhack your way up the side of the mountain.

Winter Access

In the winter, unless you have a vehicle with really good clearance and a set of darn good snow tires, you’ll want to park down at the base of the road toward the Hyak exit and hike back in on snowshoes. It’s still less than a mile to get back to the pond with literally no elevation gain.

We had heard that Gold Creek Pond was the perfect spot for snowshoe beginners, and we were not disappointed. But we were also pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s not short on incredible views. With Kendall Peak to the northwest and Rampart Ridge, Chikamin Peak and Alta Mountain to the northeast, your view of the valley is really quite spectacular.

Happy exploring!

Video of Gold Creek Pond near Snoqualmie, WA. Taken by Explore Washington State – December 21, 2017

Photos by: U.S. Forest Service and Ron Clausen.

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3 Comments

  1. Jennifer l Gray on March 18, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    As a frequent visitor to Gold Creek Pond, I am letting interested folks know that there is a plan afoot to fill in the pond ostensibly to stop the summer dewatering of Gold Creek. Although the science doesn’t support this plan, it may well proceed unless we can stop it. Please go to Savegoldcreekpond.org for more information and who to contact.

  2. Yannick Debaupte on July 8, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    The correct site is http://www.savegoldcreekpond.com

  3. […] pretty much every time I get in it. Heh. It’s also close to some of my other favorites; Gold Creek Pond, Snoqualmie Falls, and Lake […]

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