We did this trip back in January, it's a great place for beginners as the terrain is nice and level. This is still pending a fair amount of snow falling in the next few days.. so stay tuned. If we don't go here, there will be a hike of some sort planned for the same general area.
From the WTA site..
Hiking through a wide, level valley in the shadow of looming Kendall Peak to the north and Rampart Ridge to the east would be an ideal outing, if only so many people didn't know about it. Fortunately, a few miles up the trail, the crowds thin--or at least spread out--and snowshoers can get on with the business of learning to travel in a beautiful wilderness valley. That's right, just a few miles after leaving the buzzing Interstate 90 corridor, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness unfolds. By mid-December, the snow is usually deep enough for the outing to be enjoyable, making this a great destination for families who gave each other snowshoes for Christmas.
We'll meet at the Auburn Park & Ride on 15th Street NW, just East of 167.
From there we'll hop on 18 to get to I-90, heading East towards Snoqualmie Pass and exit 53 where we'll stop at Red Mountain Coffee. There's the Visitor Center restrooms for a quick pit-stop before hopping back on I-90 and down to exit 54.
Exit I-90, turn left, cross under the freeway, and just a few hundred feet north of the highway interchange, turn right onto a narrow paved road and drive east parallel to the freeway for 1 mile. Cars generally line both sides of this road, as the shoulder is the primary parking area for the long Gold Creek Sno-Park.
8:30 AM - Depart Auburn Park & Ride
9:45 AM - Depart the Red Mountain Coffee Visitors Center
10:15 AM - Depart Gold Creek Trailhead
12:30ish - stop for a mid-hike respite and snack
2:30-3ish - return to trailhead
We'll head around the pond then up the trail until we decide we've gone far enough, take a break for a snack, then head back.
Map with directions
Snowshoeing 101 - WTA Trails Information
If you don't t have snowshoes, you can rent them from a number of places... I've posted a number of them in the discussion boards.
Permits required: Sno-Park Permit Required
You can get them online, the Chevron station just off the exit for North Bend, or at the Forest station near where we'll be stopping for restrooms on way to the trail (take the exit 52 instead of 53)... or if you know you want a seasonal pass, you can grab one online or at other vendors listed here: http://parks.state.wa.us/147/Sno-Park-Permit-Vendors.
If it looks like there will not be sufficient snow for showshoeing, I'll be finding somewhere near here that we can do a hike instead.