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Showing all trip reports for the hike "Lower Gold Creek Basin Snowshoe"

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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Piles of dog poop right on the trail! I know dogs deserve their day in the snow, and I'm happy to sh...
Piles of dog poop right on the trail! I know dogs deserve their day in the snow, and I'm happy to share the trail with them, but having to ski around multiple piles of poop detracted from the enjoyment of the trail. We tried this on Cross-country skis today, but the snow was too mushy and would be better on snow shoes.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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The forecast for the day was to be clear and sunny but it was overcast and with just a bit of snow f...
The forecast for the day was to be clear and sunny but it was overcast and with just a bit of snow falling. The snow on the trail was compacted with just a little give to the surface.

We did the grand tour around the pond in a little wind and a temperature in the low twenties. Most of the pond is frozen over except a few feet along the north shore.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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No snowshoes necessary here. The trail is lightly covered with hard or icy snow, and even bare in s...
No snowshoes necessary here. The trail is lightly covered with hard or icy snow, and even bare in some places. Still, it's a very pleasant and pretty walk. You can drive right up to the larger parking lot near the lake, passed the normal snowshoeing trailhead.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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What a great day for a snowshoe. Can't believe it is the first weekend of spring. The sun was out ...
What a great day for a snowshoe. Can't believe it is the first weekend of spring. The sun was out and there was fresh snow.

We arrived early, around 10am. There wasn't many people on the trail so it felt like we had the place to ourselves most of the time. Much different when I came here a few years ago and the trail was packed. We only had to deal with one set of snowmobilers which was nice too.

The dogs loved the snow and of the people we did see most of them had dogs too.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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We picked the right trail for our first time out on snowshoes. The trail was nice, packed down, eas...
We picked the right trail for our first time out on snowshoes. The trail was nice, packed down, easy to follow, and there were very few people out - giving us some solitude to get used to walking around with snowshoes on. Overall it was a rainy, but we did get a short visit from the sun. I would recommend the loop around Gold Creek Pond for any beginners. Can't wait to get out again before all the snow goes away!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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The hike was like a winter wonderland full of frozen lakes and snow covered trees. Very mild walk un...
The hike was like a winter wonderland full of frozen lakes and snow covered trees. Very mild walk until the end where there is an incline for a few minutes.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Got to the trailhead a 7:00, it was a crisp 19 degrees out. the trail is in good shape, stomped dow...
 Got to the trailhead a 7:00, it was a crisp 19 degrees out. the trail is in good shape, stomped down pretty good, i didnt have to put my snowshoes on till i got off the main road and started up gold creek trail. a few snowshoers around the pond but i didnt run into anybody on the trailhead.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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The kids have gotten noticeably stronger this year in their hiking abilities. We’ve also made som...
The kids have gotten noticeably stronger this year in their hiking abilities. We’ve also made some new hiking friends who hike in all seasons, and they invited us to come snow shoeing with them this winter. A Secret Santa has been leaving presents on our doorstep (a 12 days of Christmas theme) and one of the gifts this weekend was 3 sets of snowshoes! There were one adult pair and two kid pairs. I feel so humbled to receive such generous gifts – we still don’t know who’s been leaving things for us, but they are so creative and obviously know us well. A true friend for sure!

One of our friends was gracious enough to offer to drive us to the trailhead, since she had the Snow Park Pass, new snow tires, and plenty of room in her car. I was grateful, because honestly I do not know how to drive in the snow, and was nervous about taking the kids up there. Since it was New Year’s Day, the parking area at the freeway offramp was completely packed, with cars lined up all along the road. I never knew there was such a place to go play with such easy access. We drove farther down to the Gold Creek Trail parking area, and parked way down the road.

We had left the brilliant sun over on the west side, and the Pass area was socked in with clouds. The temperature at the Pass was 24 degrees. It was cold enough that my hydration tube froze solid before we even started hiking. It took us a bit to gear up, but thankfully I had packed pretty much everything the way it needed to be. The biggest thing was getting everyone into snow pants and getting our snowshoes on. Once we figured it out, they were pretty straightforward, though Gabe’s winter boots pretty much filled them up, and he might need bigger ones soon. The dogs were ready to go and straining at their leashes. We made one final stop at the trailhead porta-potties, and then we joined the masses and began trudging up the trail.

The Gold Creek Trail is wide and groomed up to the pond. It’s a great place to go for beginners like us, because we could get the hang of walking on giant plastic shoes. The kids really enjoyed all the fresh, puffy snow, and I enjoyed the flocked trees and the novelty of being in the woods in winter. It didn’t take us too long to get to the summer trailhead, where there is another outhouse you can use. The trail gets narrower here, and more like a traditional trail. It’s a short walk up to the pond from here.

The snow was up to the tops of the picnic tables, but they still made convenient places to stop and eat. Ice covered this end of the pond; tracks led out onto the ice, but most of us didn’t think it was safe to venture out there. We sat down and I pulled out my thermos of hot cocoa for the kids. We had part of our lunch while the dogs begged for food from us. We really needed a break and some calories, and something warm to drink. There was just the slightest breeze, but it was still very cold. We knew we wouldn’t be able to stay very long; part of our group split off and went on ahead, because they were getting chilled and didn’t want to wait for us.

After we cleaned up and packed our gear back into our packs, we began to make the loop around the lake. There are trails braiding around, but if you stick to the main ones near the shore, you’ll be fine. There were 2 or 3 bridges over creeks. They were piled with snow, and I was glad there wasn’t more depth, because they can get precarious later in the winter. Annika began having trouble with her pants. They were just a bit too big in the waist, and kept sliding down on her hips. I pulled out a spare strap with a buckle that I carry “just in case” and it fit her perfectly as a belt. She got her second wind when she started pretending that she had gotten special snowshoes for her imaginary horse, Spots, and he was galloping along the trail with her. I just love this kid’s imagination.

Tara, the shy dog that comes hiking with us, was very afraid of children when we first met her. But on this trip she came and sat down right next to Annika, and she was much happier letting Annika pet her.

We found some snowmen that someone had added paper features to. They made us laugh.

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. Back on the front of the pond we found some interesting wildlife posts with narrow black boxes affixed to the tops. I was thinking perhaps they are bat homes, but I’m really not sure.

We made pretty good time back to the trailhead, but we all felt that this sport is more difficult and tiring than plain hiking. All that lifting up of feet and shuffling around, plus the inevitable falling down and getting up burns more calories. The kids were pretty tired at the end. I am having trouble getting an official number for the distance of this loop, but I think it’s about 2 miles round trip. It’s just right for kids and beginning snowshoers. I did see many folks pulling younger children in sleds, as they got tuckered out with the walk. We wished we had brought a lightweight sled to slide down some of the gentle slopes along the path.

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. I have a feeling we’ll be exploring more areas this winter now that we have new friends and new gear. It was definitely a great way to spend the first day of the New Year.

You can see photos on my blog, http://thehikermama.com/blog.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Arrived about 10:30 am. Beautiful snow fall at the beginning of our trek. Snow depth perfect for sn...
Arrived about 10:30 am. Beautiful snow fall at the beginning of our trek. Snow depth perfect for snow shoeing.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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This is a good snowshoe trail if you're looking something close to Seattle with an easily accessible...
This is a good snowshoe trail if you're looking something close to Seattle with an easily accessible trailhead.

We parked at the Hyak lot and trekked it underneath I-90 and a mile along NF-4832 until we reached NF-144, where the trail to Gold Creek began. There were not a lot of people on the trail on our way in at 9am, but by 1pm, you couldn't walk more than a few minutes without meeting another group.

We were looking to get off-trail a bit so got off NF-144 to the summer trailhead parking area on the left and snowshoed the trail until it met up with the forest service road again.

About a mile or so, we came across signpost on the left to a very small pond (past Gold Creek Pond) and decided to go off-trail along the embankment of Gold Creek. We negotiated several stream crossings before finally deciding to eat lunch and head back east to the main trail so that we didn't ruin our snowshoes walking back on rocks. Followed the main trail back out to NF-4832 and eventually to our car.

We really enjoyed the off-trail sections in the woods and along the Gold Creek embankment.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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We began our snowshoe NF Road-144 where it joins NF Road-4832. While preparing to head out we had a ...
We began our snowshoe NF Road-144 where it joins NF Road-4832. While preparing to head out we had a difficult time keeping snow from blowing into the car and inside packs for even the short time they were open. Once on the trail there was more protection from the wind near the trees. Snow fell the whole trip and the snow on the ground was great powdery stuff.

Our trek took us first going north along the east side of the lake and then rounded the lake counterclock wise and then we headed north again on FR Road 114 doing a bit of off trail and then south back to the trailhead. We got in about 3.7 miles today.

The foot bridge on the northeast side of the lake was a bit tricky as the snow on it is about a foot and a half above the railing and as usual with the foot bridges the path on the top is much narrower than the bridge below.

Due to the falling snow there were no distant sights to view but the forms along the creek and the trees are always interesting.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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The trail (really a road ) is wide open and well compacted in the first mile and a half or so. Ther...
The trail (really a road ) is wide open and well compacted in the first mile and a half or so. There are a bunch of small signs to keep you going in the right direction. You don't really need snowshoes at this time. It takes about 40 minutes to get to the end of the trail/road.

If you want to go further ... 50 yards before where the road ends take a right and head up the valley. The trail narrows as you head up the valley toward Alaska Lake / Joe Lake. After a mile or so (on the narrow trail) .... you will need some type of traction. I got to this point and put on my shoe "chains". Also, if we get some fresh snow I would check the avalanche / snow report website because at times Rampart Ridge is right above you. At about 3.5 miles you have to cross Silver Creek. There is a rock "bridge" but the rocks are ice covered so be careful.

After crossing Silver Creek the trail is no longer really visible and you have to make your own thru the snow. Decided it was a good spot to take a break for lunch and head back. Overall ... about 7 miles (out and back to Silver Creek crossing) and basically no elevation gain.


 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Reached the Sno-Park around 11am. The Sno-Park was filling up, but we still got to park within a few...
Reached the Sno-Park around 11am. The Sno-Park was filling up, but we still got to park within a few hundred feet of the trailhead.

Didn't need snowshoes at first as the trail was packed down well, but beyond the last house, snowshoes were required to avoid occasional postholing.

Followed various tracks past Gold Creek Pond and a bit beyond Heli's Pond, along the summer trail.

The crowds congregated around the two "ponds", but we met almost no one off the main trail or further along the trail.

Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/[…]/GoldCreekBasinMarch2011
Tracklog: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/71726555

 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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Wow, So much fresh deep powder....3 ft? Did this same hike last Monday but today it was a totally...
  Wow, So much fresh deep powder....3 ft? Did this same hike last Monday but today it was a totally different hike. We arrived around 11 with it snowing slightly. We were the 1st on the trail to Heli's Pond which meant a lot of hard work breaking trail but it was fabulously fun. We brought our two friends on their first snowshoe adventure and they loved it. This is the perfect place for beginners. It is,however,very slow going with knee deep snow so plan accordingly. We were lucky and met up with a couple who were willing to share in the labor. We had our lunch in the deep snow at the pond and then headed back to the car.It started snowing much harder after lunch and we were thankful for the layers we had packed. We moved much quicker on the way out... Starbucks was calling!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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We were forced to park right off of the exit because somebody tried to take his snowmobile trailer d...
We were forced to park right off of the exit because somebody tried to take his snowmobile trailer down the road which is 1 lane once people park all along it. I definitely would not recommend this unless you want the first/ last mile of your snowshoe to be on a road that parallels I-90. Make sure to go past the first area where people have parked down to the bridge where the gold creek trailhead actually is.

We started out later in the afternoon which seemed to contribute to a few less people being on the trail. The snow was deep and we had a great time cruising through the powder pillows. The trail itself is packed down enough that it would be doable in boots/ shoes, but having the snowshoes to go through the trees and deeper stuff was fun.

Since we got out there later on and were kind of lollygaggin/ frolicking, we didn't make it all the way to the end, but decided to turn around at Heli's pond. We walked around the pond which was beautiful. Had to blaze a bit of a trail though. There's a pretty cool Eagle Scout project that somebody did with info about the pond. Overall this is an awesome intro snowshoe that would be great for anyone including kids. I expected it to be a lot busier than it actually was, and not encountering a single snowmobile was nice. There's also lots of areas to just kind of roam around if you aren't used to the snowshoes yet. Just be careful because part of the trail does go through private property. Although we didn't see anyone, we did see some signs that made it look like they might have had problems with people trespassing in the past.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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Great beginner snowshoe hike. We started out about 10:30 am. Snow was compact at the beginning of ou...
Great beginner snowshoe hike. We started out about 10:30 am. Snow was compact at the beginning of our day but the snow was falling and we ended with a nice fresh layer.It wasn't as crowded as we expected but it was clearly a favorite spot. At about 1.7 mi. we stopped and walked around Heli's pond, definitely worth doing. At about 2.5 mi you come to a beautiful meadow just perfect for a lunch stop. Because of time constraints this was our turn around point. However, if someone had the time it would be fun to explore up the valley farther.....Another important detail...you must purchase a sno-park pass. This would be great for kids as well , as we saw many having a great time.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Sunny clear day and no snow on the road. Brought snowshoes but did not need them on the hard packed ...
Sunny clear day and no snow on the road. Brought snowshoes but did not need them on the hard packed trail. Only ran into about four or five parties of people. Poles were handy for some icy spots down the trail past the avalanche chute. Some small creeks are trickling and the snow bridges over them are either gone or fast disappearing but they were not difficult to cross. Bare gound is showing near the trail in some spots as well as surrounding crags. Trekked to the creek log crossing. Tempted to cross to the nice sunny spots on the other side but decided not to as to get to the log bridge was a little icy and possibly slipping into the cold running creek did not seem too appealing. Plus, there were plenty of other sunny spots to enjoy.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Saturday morning solitude at Gold Creek was a surprise. We'd chosen this trail, having noticed crow...
Saturday morning solitude at Gold Creek was a surprise. We'd chosen this trail, having noticed crowds here on a previous sunny Saturday. For this rainy, warm day, we wanted, and got, a gentle grade on groomed trail, with minimal avalanche danger. Though there were a few bare patches and stream crossings, the trail was good, and the creek and basin beautiful. The rain stopped, and the sky even showed some blue. During the first mile, passing through a community of cryptic cabins, it is easy to imagine a vacation or residence here, but we saw no inhabitants.

We did see bobcat tracks, and bone-filled scat, plus the usual ubiquitous snowshoe hare tracks. (also an abundance of domestic canine droppings) By noon, people were arriving, but we were happy with our wonderful morning, even as we drove back down into the rain.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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We had a real good snowshoe trip this time on Gold Creek Trail. Went there about a month ago and the...
We had a real good snowshoe trip this time on Gold Creek Trail. Went there about a month ago and the trail was shorter. We couldn't get to the bridge because of the fallen trees and there weren't any trails. Since we have never been there we didn't risk it and turned around. But this time there was a trail to follow and we passed the bridge. After the bridge we did our own tracks about a mile. We climbed away from the creek and went little higher. It was fun doing some backcountry snowshoeing after walking the trail. Didn't see any hazard on the trail. Since it was a Monday we saw only 4 or 5 people besides us which made it better:)
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Another big powder day: http://alpinelakesaficionado.blogspot.com/2010/11/snoiwshed-butte-3798-...
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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5 Intrepids snowshoed about 5 mi rt in/out; sunny day, cool and crisp; walked about a mile or 2 to G...
5 Intrepids snowshoed about 5 mi rt in/out; sunny day, cool and crisp; walked about a mile or 2 to Gold Creek Trailhead from road;
lovely woods, dark and deep; much of trail icy/hard/crunchy underfoot (undersnowshoe)...still a great day with great friends,
about a mile in from trailhead, vista of ridges/mountains, snowcapped from recent snowfall---made the trek worthwhile! Some of the snowbridges are ready (and 1 did) to collapse, all but 1 of us managed to fall into snow one way or another, but a glorious day nonetheless. Slushy on way back. Loved the log bridge with (thankfully) a handrail across creek. I would say this might be last weekend to snowshoe at Snoqualmie unless fresh snow falls enough to make softer going than the icy stretches in the trees.

Intrepids forever!
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail, Road to trailhead inaccessible
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Variable weather, some sun, some rain, some breeze, some snow, some sleet...you get the picture. Dur...
Variable weather, some sun, some rain, some breeze, some snow, some sleet...you get the picture. During winter, you have to park at roadside and walk /snowshoe to trailhead which is about 1.5 miles...by the time you have snowshoed that, for a short trip, you then are ready to turn around. (we had already gone to hyak sno-park, and found Twin Lakes road cleared after .5 mi, so had left there and gone to Gold Creek which was prettier and had very hard crunchy snow to snowshoe on. This was a 'scope out Snoqualmie for snowshoeing' trip, as we return next saturday for a group outing.
Pretty treed walk. Very crunchy, noisy snow to snowshoe on. Heard birds, and saw squirrels. Felice and I needed to scope out hike, and thanks to Haven for driving and offering his very useful input!
Intrepids forever!
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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A beautiful day for a snowshoe. Some new snow from earlier this week on the trail, which was still ...
A beautiful day for a snowshoe. Some new snow from earlier this week on the trail, which was still fresh up the trail a good ways. The path was well packed...could be hiked with boots only, but the snowshoes were helpful. It warmed up to the mid-40s in the afternoon, and the bottom of the trail was becoming rather slushy, but still hard packed, so walking was no problem.

We hiked 4 hours round-trip and didn't quite make it to the ridge. Had to stop a little ways down. Needed probably another 30 minutes.


 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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This was to be my maiden voyage out on a set of snowshoes and fortunately, the weather made it supe...
 This was to be my maiden voyage out on a set of snowshoes and fortunately, the weather made it super enjoyable. Did this hike with a group of geocachers and people just interested in trying it out, so it seemed everyone had their own motivation for the hike this day.
 Met at the trail head around 8am for some basic instruction on snowshoeing and by 9am, the group was assembled and ready for action.
 The first mile or two in were super easy, even for us rookies. Honestly, probably didn't even need them, but figured it was good practice since we had no idea what we might or might not be in store for. I'm not exactly sure what point we stopped, but it was just past the tiny little log bridge/creek.
 The hike up was very easy and we only saw a few people, mainly cross country skiers and a couple of dog walkers. We did see a ton of dog poo baggies along the trail which is very frustrating. Leaving the plastic baggie is worse then leaving the poo, I don't get it.
 Anyways, we made it to our destination and turned back around. As we were making our way back down we started seeing more and more people and by the time we got back to our cars, pure mayhem. Considering the amount of people there, I can't see how there is a lack of money with the money they're making of the sno-park permits, wow.
 Trail was nice and easy for the most part, couple spots where you had to jump across spots of water coming down the hill, but none of us had too much of a hassle. Very enjoyable hike and would suggest it for any first time snowshoers!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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The road to the 2860 road was passable to all vehicles with good tires with the snow starting about ...
The road to the 2860 road was passable to all vehicles with good tires with the snow starting about 1/2 mile from the TH. We hiked to the former East Crossing CG with a side trip on the Gold Creek Trail to the bridge crossing Gold Creek. The trail was recently cleared by the Gray Wolf Crew so is in excellent condition. Thank you to them!






 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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~ The hills are alive !!! Today was one of those days where one wants to twirl around in a (snowy)...

~

The hills are alive !!!

Today was one of those days where one wants to twirl around in a (snowy) meadow, and sing “The hills are alive with the sound of music” at the top of their lungs.

Unfortunately, (for my friends) I am prone to doing such things, and even worse, have the vocal range to do it; (in my own defense, I also sang, (with accompaniment), “On the road again” and “Hit the road jack”) Actually, we all sang a lot. We couldn’t help ourselves.

Come on… It is after all, the “Issaquah Alps”

It was a glorious, spectacular day with perfect weather (hey, when one is snowshoeing 32 degrees (F) IS perfect) with crisp, fluffy snow.

“The orb” (aka the sun for those who do not live in the Pacific Northwest where we say things like “Oh look! The mountain is out!”, “Hey, there’s a lenticular cloud over the volcano” and the ever popular, “What is that orange ball in the sky? It’s hurting my eyes?”) was shining brightly, the sky was robins egg blue, and the snow had melted off of the road but not out of the trees.

We arrived in the early afternoon (said cute little truck got her new shoes this morning so we didn’t leave Tacoma until 10:30 AM) to perfect conditions.

We headed up the East trailhead (down the road and across the bridge from the groomed trail parking area) and out to Lake Mardeen.

I even made a snow angel (the FIRST one of the season; I guess I’m slacking)

Some idiots who had no clue actually walked out on the lake, which was in no way safe, but luckily, they didn’t fall through the ice; they turned back when they saw the areas that weren’t fully frozen. Dipsticks!!!

Oh yeah, and don’t get me started on the other idiots who left a big dog poop right in the middle of the trail. (these are the kind of people who give responsible dog owners a bad name)

We took lots of piccies and enjoyed the sounds of ravens, ducks and songbirds.

We tromped around for about three hours and then headed back down the road before the roads froze up.

I-5, on Friday evening, on the eve of a three day weekend?

Not so much fun.

But completely worth it!!!

The pictures are available here…

http://www.wildcelticrose.net/lisasplace/goldcreekbasin0108.html

~L

 
Olympics -- East
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We started our hike at the newer TH on the 2870 Road about a mile above the TH described in Robert W...

We started our hike at the newer TH on the 2870 Road about a mile above the TH described in Robert Wood's book.Thanks again to the WTA crew which cleared the trail to the river at about 2 miles and above to a point where there is a MASSIVE dominoe effect blowdown. We were unable to go beyond this point because of the size of the trees and the washed out trail.This was at perhaps .25 miles from the river as you begin going up towards the washed out bridge.We were back at the TH about 1:00 so decided to do part of the Gold Creek Trail.We started at the lower end near the former East Crossing CG. The Dungeness River is beautiful at the beginning of this trail. There's a dandy bridge crossing Gold Creek. It's a fallen log across the creek. Handrails and steps have been added to the fallen tree!We hiked about 2 miles one way.It appeared that the trail had been cleared earlier. 2 trees have fallen since this clearing and they are easily climbed over over.

 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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Wonderful day for snowshoeing up Gold Creek Valley. Although there were twenty or so cars at the tra...

Wonderful day for snowshoeing up Gold Creek Valley. Although there were twenty or so cars at the trailhead, we saw very few people on the trail on our way up. The temps were in the high teens to lower 20's with freezing rain and snow most of the day. The snow base was hard-packed - we didn't need snowshoes unless we ventured off-trail. We found plenty of solitude after the first mile, even though it was a holiday for most. After having a hot lunch of baked lasagna, we explored some of the many recently broken trails before heading back home.

 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Great snowshoeing conditions. ...

Great snowshoeing conditions.

 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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Wonderful day for shoeing up the Gold Creek Road. Temps were hovering about 32 degrees and snow was ...

Wonderful day for shoeing up the Gold Creek Road. Temps were hovering about 32 degrees and snow was falling ever so lightly with no breeze. The road itself as well as the many trails around the immediate area did not require snowshoes for walking since the snow was hard-packed. However, snowshoes are required once you get on trail #1314 towards Alaska and Joe Lakes.

 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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After last weeks snowfree snowshoe we decided to go somewhere we knew had snow. Gold Creek fit the b...

After last weeks snowfree snowshoe we decided to go somewhere we knew had snow. Gold Creek fit the bill.

There was a very thin layer of new snow, maybe an inch, but was well travelled when we arrived around 10:30. Cars already lined both directions of the road from the SnoPark.

The road walk to the summer trailhead is wide and packed down hard, no snowshoes needed here. The outhouse is open though there is a large pile of trash inside. Many other snowshoers out and families playing in the snow. We walked up the roads through the cabins and about a mile down the actual trail before calling it a day. On the way back we circled around the pond, tried to find the Geocache, and headed back.

No fresh snow as of this writing but still a good easy snowshoe trip. The pond is partly frozen with a large area of slush.

More trip photos: http://www.pbase.com/billcat/hiking/

 
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Olympics -- Kitsap Peninsula
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Gold Creek Trail is a good choice on a cloudy day like today, although it's even better when it's cl...

Gold Creek Trail is a good choice on a cloudy day like today, although it's even better when it's clear and you can have the splendid views of the Olympics in one direction and Puget Sound, Seattle, and the Cascades on the other. It's also only a good choice when it's a week-day. On weekends it's busy with horses, bikes and motor-bikes. Today, no one was at the trailhead and we had the forest all to ourselves.

The old trailhead has been closed and the parking lot moved a quarter of a mile south on the Gold Creek Road. There's a huge parking lot now, a large concrete privy, and places to tie up horses. There's also a sign warning that it's a high car-prowl area. The new rerouted trail leaves the parking lot and heads directly upward through a large clear-cut that is fortunately, beginning to show some new growth (it used to look pretty awful). It was quite muddy, and there were several inches of snow alongside the trail, but not on it. The snow make the clear-cut look much better as well. The trail heads up and then around the lower side of Gold Moumtain and then descends to an old logging road. Turn right on the road and follow it over the creek (where it becomes a narrow walking bridge). The Gold Creek trail then takes off up the hill to the left and joins the old trail to the summit. The last quarter mile or so had a bit of old snow and ice on the trail, but it should be gone in a day or two. It was fun walking around in the snow at the summit, where it was about 6 to 8 inches deep. There were quite a few animal tracks up there.

We decided to take the old trail out to the street rather than retrace our steps through the clear-cut. This meant walking along the side of the Gold Creek Road (and the drivers there go pretty fast). But it was only a quarter mile. It was a good, short hike. About 5 miles round trip and about 1200 feet of elevation.

 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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absolutely gorgeous day to trek through the gold creek area. parked on fs road #4832 and walked in...

absolutely gorgeous day to trek through the gold creek area.

parked on fs road #4832 and walked in to the trailhead. there was good snowpack all along the way which was a bit slippery.

there were actually quite a few people out on the trail with snowshoes or xc skis.

it was snowing a bit as we hiked in but that actually made it nicer - a great hike to start off the new year.

 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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After reading about the enormous number of downed trees at Tiger Mountain, I was curious to see wha...

After reading about the enormous number of downed trees at Tiger Mountain, I was curious to see what had happened at Green Mountain State Forest west of Bremerton. The Gold Creek Trail up to the vista is in excellent shape, I'm pleased to say. There is only one tree down across the trail and it was no problem to climb over it (although it might prove otherwise for horses). The sky was blue when we started out and the glimpses of the Olympics through the trees were encouraging. But, as so often happens, by the time we reached the summit, the clouds had arrived and shrouded the peaks. Nonetheless, it was nice to sit in the sun and eat lunch with a nice view east to the sound and the surrounding hills. No Rainier view either yesterday. On the way down we took a side trail to Gold Creek and discovered that a huge crevasse had opened in the old road along the creek. You can carefully step over it (the DNR has put ribbons around it)however.

 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Bridge out, Water on trail, Snow on trail
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A gorgeous sunny day led to a snowshoe trip up the Gold Creek Valley. Our original goal was Alaska ...

A gorgeous sunny day led to a snowshoe trip up the Gold Creek Valley. Our original goal was Alaska Lake- but at 3.4 miles in- we called it a day. The trail was non-existant and we had to navigate our own path based on a topo map, GPS and the occasional really old snowshoe track now burried under new snow. We crossed 5 creeks, which proved to be rather difficult on snowshoes- but the melting continues and the snow getting thinner around the moving water. If one were to want to do the trek- don't go without good navigating gear/ and.. or.. do it soon so you can follow our tracks- ha.

Good luck!

 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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""What! Are you kidding? You want me to lead a snowshoe trip in the dark?"" These are the words tha...

""What! Are you kidding? You want me to lead a snowshoe trip in the dark?"" These are the words that came out of my month a few months ago when I was approached by two fellow Mountaineers about snowshoeing at night. Well, on March 15 (the closest Saturday to that month's full moon), I took a group of Mountaineers on a ""moonlight snowshoe trip"" to the Gold Creek Basin. I chose this site because this is one of the places I knew that I wouldn't have to fill out an incident report because I lost someone in the dark. Theres no chance of avalanche and it's close enough to the freeway if this ""moonlight thingy"" didn't work. Eight of us, met for dinner at the Issaquah Brewery for dinner. We sat watching the pouring rain outside as we ate and of course all of us were thinking, ""What did I get myself into?"" We reached the snopark around 7 p.m. and got on our snowshoes, head lamps, and winter clothing. It wasn't raining at the pass but it was cloudy. We all compared our headlamps (which had the brightest light, which one looked the dorkiest - I think I won that category) and started our trek to the lake. The snow was such that you didn't need snowshoes, but this was a snowshoe trip and by gosh we were going to snowshoe. We later realized that we didn't need our headlamps so we turned them off. The road is very easy to follow and so is the trail to Mardee Lake. We soon reached Mardee Lake and took in the beauty, the peace and the quiet. This is not a quiet place during the day with the huge crowds of snowshoers and cross-county skiers. As we approached the north end of the lake, the clouds parted and the stars and ""almost full"" moon shined down on us lucky souls. It was magnificent!!! The place lit up. The moon was reflecting off the snow. I even thought I heard Santa's reindeers (I'm seeing a therapist for this). The temperature was perfect...relatively warm...some of us took of our outter wear for most of the trek. We returned to the southend of the lake and mad hot chocolate and ate Girl Scout cookies. We ended this trip around 9:30...hopped into our vehicles and guess what? It started to pour as we were leaving. I would do this again next year! You should too.

 
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Olympics -- East
Blowdowns, Washouts
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We rode the Lower Dungeness/ Gold Creek loop on 1/25/2003. The forest service road leading to the t...

We rode the Lower Dungeness/ Gold Creek loop on 1/25/2003. The forest service road leading to the trails is washed out 3 miles from the Gold Creek Trail Head. This makes the total loop approximately 23 miles with 4200 feet of elevation gain. Our total time for the loop was 5 and a half hours, much longer than expected but there is alot more climbing than the 2000 feet stated in most of the mountain biking guidebooks. If your in great riding condition you could probably do it in 3.5 hours, maybe faster.

The trails were in excellent condition and mostly dry. There is one large landslide about one mile up the Lower Dungeness Trail that is passable by climbing up to the road then dropping back through the forest to the trail, or by following the survey tape through the slide. There was no snow on either trail and the snow level in the immediate vicinity appeared to be around 4500 feet which is pretty amazing considering the time of year. We cleared 10 blowdowns from the two trails with only one large one remaining that is easily passable early on the Lower Dungeness Trail. All of the streams were easily forded by slippery logs.

As a mountain bike loop, I highly recommend this almost year round and it rates as one of the best in the state, just be prepared to work for it. Also the first 3 miles of the lower dungeness were described as hike-a-bike by John Zilly in his Mountain Bike Southwest Washington guidebook, but in reality a strong (very strong) rider could ride the entire trail. It would be painful but techincally doable.

 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Chicago Bill and I decided to do some shoeing and after reading the avalanche reports I decided aga...

Chicago Bill and I decided to do some shoeing and after reading the avalanche reports I decided against Cave Ridge and figured if we went east of the crest the weather may be a little better. I had gone up Gold Basin a month before and wanted to go farther. Well, to say it was raining does not do justice to what was coming down from the sky, it was pouring, so we suited up at the snow park and headed up the valley. We skirted around the small lake about 1/4 mile up the road. I was thinking we could get down by the creek and follow it up the valley. The creek was running to full (about 12""). So we headed up the trail. After a mile up the trail we decided to stop for a snack. Climbed under some trees to get out of the rain, no luck. And when my sardines started to float out of the tin we decided three hours in a torrential rain was enough. Anyway, Bill's college team was playing in the NCAA tournament. No Blowdowns, trail snow covered, good snowshoeing. Good views of Rampart Ridge and Kendall Peaks.

 
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