Snow is falling in the mountains like crazy and by this weekend the snowshoe season will be here at all the passes! Hooray! If you’re on the #getoutallwinter bandwagon with me, there’s nothing more exciting than the first snowshoe outing! I tried to rush the season last weekend on the Gold Creek Valley Snowshoe, and it was a fantastic winter outing though there wasn’t enough snow to justify snowshoes. With the 1-3 feet of predicted snow this week (and 6 inches or so has already fallen at Snoqualmie pass) that will change and this will become an awesome snowshoe outing!
In my get started snowshoeing post, one of the beginner snowshoe outings I mentioned was Gold Creek pond, and today I wanted to talk about going further up the Gold Creek Valley and finding more solitude. This is also a place you can snowshoe with your dog as long as your furry friend is leashed and you scoop and pack out their waste.
You’ll start out at the Gold Creek Sno park, which is parking along the road. This sno park tends to be very crowded on weekends, but if you go further up the valley you’ll see far fewer people. Start off going up the road past the outhouses and shortly you will come to the trailhead for Gold Creek pond and the summer parking lot. Start on the Gold Creek pond loop going counter clockwise (to the right). In half a mile or so you will come to a junction, go right to head up the valley (for a shorter outing you can go left and make the pond loop, which is a total outing of about a mile and a half). In a few yards you will find yourself on a closed road, which you’ll follow for a little over a mile. There is private property on both sides of the road, so make sure to stay on the road. The road is closed so feels less like a road and more like a wide trail. At each driveway or road junction, there are signs pointing you towards the Gold Creek Trail. Upon arriving at the Gold creek trail, continue up the trail as far as you feel like going. Pay attention to the avalanche forecast and do not venture to the upper valley if the snow is unstable as avalanches can come down from above. In addition, you could continue about 5 miles up the valley, so make sure to have a turnaround time and stick to it!
This trail has only slight elevation gain so it’s an awesome mellow outing for beginners, or more experienced snowshoers who just want to wander without a lot of uphill climbing. There are nice mountain views on both sides between the trees so there are some views in addition to the bliss of snowshoeing through our amazing evergreen forests.
Wherever you get outside this weekend, have a blast!