January 11, 2013
Gold Creek is one of the most popular snowshoe routes in Washington — and for good reason. This sno-park sits two miles east of the Snoqualmie summit and the trail begins just a few miles from the freeway. If you’re looking for a beginner trail, with easy access and stunning views, you’ve picked the right trail! You just may want to head over on a weekday when the crowds die down a bit.
Once on the trail, you’ll find that Gold Creek is a wide, open valley. It’s a perfect place for new snowshoers and kids to explore the area while getting used to the sport. The trail follows the east side of the valley, alternating between open slopes and forests. If the clouds decide to open up, you’ll see Kendall Peak to the north and Rampart Ridge to the east.
The Hiker Mama, a northwest mom blogger, recently profiled a family trip to Gold Creek. Head over to read the full trip report, or check out a few highlights we’ve included below.
“We saw some bunny tracks on the far side of the lake, and some ducks were swimming in the open water on that end. We saw several ravens and juncos, and even a heron flying over at one point.”
“Both my kids enjoyed this new sport. Gabriel did comment on how everything is more work in the snow, and he’s right – but I think it’s still worth it to get out into the bracing cold air and experience the mountains in winter. It was definitely a great way to spend the first day of the year.”
To see more trip reports, check out Washington Trails Association‘s Gold Creek profile. You’ll find in-depth recaps of recent treks.
EveryTrail has also profiled the Gold Creek trail, with beautiful photos from a sunny day trek. They’ve highlighted a few below in their interactive map.
The trailhead is located 1 mile north of the I-90 freeway. Take exit 54 to Frontage road. For directions from your home, type your address into this Google map.
The trail begins at 2,560 feet, with a 400 foot elevation gain throughout the hike.
Trail Maps & Additional Information
The map below includes initial information. For detailed maps for download, head over to the Washington State Parks’ website.
Want to check out other trails?
If you live in Western Washington, head over to Seattle Met. They’ve recently profiled 11 trails that include various lengths and difficulty ratings.
Have photos from a recent snowshoe trip?
We’d love to feature them on Adventure Awaits. Submit photos and stories through our Share Your Story portal.
Feature photo courtesy of Jessie Hey.