Thoreau had Walden Pond, and was better for it. Those fortunate to live in and around the Snoqualmie Valley, have Gold Creek Pond!
I’ve never been to Walden Pond, (road trip anyone?) but there are plenty of reasons that Gold Creek Pond is special and could rival any spot to find your happy place. When you visit Gold Creek Pond and the trail system around the pond you can’t help but be amazed. The Gold Creek Valley, the PCT, and of course the creek and pond itself all fit seamlessly in this picture perfect presentation of natures beauty. Producers of nature shows are missing out on these views!
Hard to believe this pond was once a gravel pit and construction site during the 70’s and 80’s. Multiple agencies have, and continue to work on reclaiming the area. Thanks to these efforts we can all enjoy a stunning lake year round. The pond and trail are off exit 54 on I90 making a perfect pit stop for all as you travel across Snoqualmie Pass. Plan a picnic, a short walk, stretch your legs and enjoy Gold Creek Pond!
The Pond and Trail
The looped trail is 1.1 mile, paved and accessible to all. During the winter it is a popular snowshoe destination providing year round enjoyment to the stunning vistas, “beach” area, park benches, and wildlife viewing.
The pond is closed to swimming and fishing. Dogs must be on leash.
My personal favorite time of year is to visit in fall or early spring. I have yet to snowshoe in, but I’m sure that the reward of seeing fresh snow on a clear day and mirror reflection will soon be calling me.
Opposite of Leave No Trace
We recently took family photos up there, and are regular visitors throughout the year. Father’s Day 2018, we decided to make a treck to the pass and enjoy the pond and lunch later. I was disheartened when I saw the opposite of “Leave No Trace”. The evidence was clear that a gender reveal party took place with the big “bang” of confetti paper and pictures right at the water’s edge. What amazed me was the blatant lack of accountability for this moment.
The trip and party were clearly planned with excited friends and family gathering around the happy couple to celebrate (rightfully so-every gift of life is precious). The photographer was probably professional and had done this many times. All in all, there were most likely plenty of sound minded people enjoying this cherished moment.
And then the reveal…blue tissue paper strewn about. Filling the pond a few feet in, and surrounding picnic sites, even all the way to the parking lot. Blue tissue paper.
When I saw this on our father’s day morning hike I was heartbroken and confused. So I did the only thing I could do…I started picking up the papers by hand.
As I maneuvered goose poop to pick up as much as I could, I filled my son’s backpack as that was the only means I had. There was probably 20 people that came in and around me, during 30 minutes of clean up, to visit and enjoy. One person asked what I was doing.
I couldn’t clean it all that morning and I didn’t get to throw rocks as long as I wanted with my son. That made sad, but honestly I had more on my mind.
What I thought about most was all those people that watched that gender reveal celebration and then left. I wondered was this their first visit to Gold Creek Pond or had they been here regularly? Do they “escape” to nature spots often or only for special occassions? Were they so excited for the growing family that they didn’t think of those who come once, or many times to enjoy an escape to a pond? Did it cross their mind that somebody would have to, or feel compelled to, clean up after their party? Was it just another Instagram story or Facebook brag moment? Or were they cherishing the place they chose?
All these thoughts are idyllic and probably borderline condescending. Of course, I’ll never know those answers, and I’m sure I could come up with more questions.That would be a waste though, which is ironic because that is what they all left.
Leave no trace, pack it in, pack it out. Our area is special. Little eyes are always watching.
Thanks for following along. Until next time!
Your Mindful Broker
for more information about Gold Creek Pond here are some useful links: