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Snowshoe Lower Gold Creek Basin (hopefully)

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.

Getting There 
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.

(WTA Description)

Timing 
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.

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  • Todd B.

    You know you are with good people when you can stomp around in the woods for several hours in the cold rain and still have a good time.

    2 · 2 days ago

    • Eddie C

      Thinking a scoot into franklin falls if temps stay low here till Sunday

      1 · 2 days ago

    • Gayle M

      That's what rain gear is for - LOL :-D

      2 days ago

  • Bonnie M

    Just saw a post on Washington Hikers and Climbers what Gold Creek Pond looked like today with fresh snow. So crazy what a difference 24 hours make. I added 2 of the photos to the album, pic 23 and 24.

    4 days ago

  • Bonnie M

    While it would have been great to actually have enough snow to snowshoe, it was still a nice hike. Enjoyed meeting folks. Thanks Rob for organizing.

    2 · 4 days ago

  • Jim

    Great. Last star would have been given if Nature had gotten the memo about making sure we had some snow...

    4 days ago

  • Eddie C

    Lets go again soon...Worked out well..Great Day for a hike on the big hills... good day to test gear for weather.. layer layer layer..

    5 days ago

    • Eduard B.

      Give it a couple of weeks and there will be snow galore.

      5 days ago

  • Janet H.

    Lovely without snow shoes.

    1 · 5 days ago

    • Eddie C

      That happens often where we pop them off n hook em on our packs and cruise along on micro spikes over ice etc.. I wear the spikes even when I'm in the snow shoes.. makes it easy to sw back in forth.. Costco is selling a new type of yak trak kind of like a studded tire... haven't heard any reviews yet

      5 days ago

  • Olympia

    Great outing! Thank you Rob for being a great organizer and for having cool ideas!

    5 days ago

  • Todd B.

    We think we might have left someone at the trailhead who wanted a ride back to auburn. Does everyone have a ride? At 53 and can come back.

    1 · 5 days ago

    • Eddie C

      Wow hope all are back hm cozy n warm

      5 days ago

    • Trine

      We waited for 30 min. Hope everyone made it.

      5 days ago

  • Tami

    Though no snowshoe today, lovely hike and great people (+Mara). Thanks again for organizing, Rob.

    1 · 5 days ago

  • Leslie

    Great adventure and thanks to Rob for leading us.

    1 · 5 days ago

  • Janet H.

    We are getting Snow Pass at Exit 52. Do you prefer we meet at trail or cafe?

    5 days ago

    • Todd B.

      What shop did you get the pass from? None of the places we stopped at have them

      5 days ago

    • Rob P

      Just come to the trail

      5 days ago

  • Debi

    We're at the trailhead parking lot.

    5 days ago

  • Pete

    I am at the park and Ride in Auburn. Not sure where everyone is located.

    5 days ago

    • Eddie C

      O @ north bend hwy 90

      5 days ago

    • Trine

      We're at the coffee shop, where's everyone?

      5 days ago

  • Eddie C

    Tiger is clear no further delay

    5 days ago

  • Eddie C

    Tiger Mnt indicating accident n backup will update

    5 days ago

  • Todd B.

    I must have been at the wrong p&r. See you at the coffee shop.

    5 days ago

  • Olympia

    On my way

    5 days ago

  • Reid

    Rob I won't make it this morning sorry. Reid

    5 days ago

  • Tami

    I'm bringing an extra pair of snowshoes and poles if anybody needs

    5 days ago

  • Eduard B.

    Who is coming with me? Raise your hands please... :-) I will be at Tacoma Dome Transit at 8am.

    December 1

  • Eddie C

    Hola Rob.. since we are near N Bend... we will travel up to Red Mountain Coffee Visitors Center and meet you there for a chk out n cafe time..

    1 · 6 days ago

  • Melinda

    Do you all have room for one more? I haven't snow shoed before but would like to try it. Coming from Tacoma

    6 days ago

    • Melinda

      Hosmer

      6 days ago

    • Rob P

      had to look it up.. but yea.. by Olive Garden, Famous Daves, Red Lobster, etc...

      6 days ago

  • Rob P

    It looks like there could be up to 8 inches or more of fresh snow from the last few days.. with more expected tonight and it likely will be snowing the whole time we're out there... so please dress accordingly.

    6 days ago

  • Bonnie M

    Anybody heading up from Olympia want to car pool? I prefer riding and donating toward gas. Can meet folks at Haggen (Westside by Pier 1) or Martin Way Park'nride.

    November 30

    • Tom

      Philip do you have room for another, me?

      6 days ago

    • Tom

      Thanks Philip I'll be at Hagen s early

      6 days ago

  • Joe O

    Do you think the roads will be okay for a conventional vehicle.
    I don't have chains.

    6 days ago

  • Trine

    Just FYI, I will meet you guys at the coffee shop!

    6 days ago

  • Gayle M

    Double Pooh !! Was just told about this and I had plans 2 months out for tomorrow. Enjoy - this is where I first learned to snowshoe :-)

    6 days ago

  • Leslie

    I was able to catch a ride with Jim. Thank you.

    6 days ago

    • Eduard B.

      Super! See you at the trail then?

      6 days ago

  • Nancy V

    Gotta cancel. Coming down with a cold :(

    December 1

  • Olympia

    Can I bring my St Bernard dog?

    November 29

    • Janet H.

      May I meet you at dome? what time?

      December 1

    • Rob P

      the 6th Ave P&R is by the War Memorial Park where Jackson crosses 16 just East of the Narrows Bridge.. 6th is the first street South of 16.

      December 1

  • Eduard B.

    I have a 4x4 truck with 3 additional seats.

    November 29

  • Leslie

    I still would like to catch a ride with someone. I can meet in Gig Harbor or Tacoma....

    December 1

    • Rachel

      Not too many folks coming from your direction, but Jim is in Gig Harbor and you could check with Eduard to see if his car leaving from Tacoma is full.

      December 1

  • Joe O

    Do we have enough park passes?

    November 30

    • Rob P

      I'm probably going to pick one up for my car.. not sure who else has them..

      November 30

    • Todd B.

      If I need to, I don't mind getting one as well since I'll be up in that neighborhood the next day and probably several other days this winter.

      November 30

  • Philip C.

    I have extra pairs of the cheap costco snowshoes. one pair for up to 200 lbs, the other for up to 150 lbs. I used them one time last year up at white pass, and they looked very similar to the ones they were renting out at the nordic center. I'm sure they aren't the best, but I think they will work great for this trip.

    November 30

  • Jerry

    I have a SUV and would be able to take up to 5 additional people.

    November 29

    • Janet H.

      From Tacoma? Can I pedal to your place?

      November 30

  • Rob P

    Play-Back Sports in Proctor rents.. I'll post info in the discussion boards.

    November 29

    • Janet H.

      12.00 a day, 20 pairs available

      November 30

  • Eddie C

    Hola Rob... have a car full and will join the group at the Auburn park n ride.. ordered season snow park pass online they issue a tmp printout while pass is in the mail...

    2 · November 30

  • Rob P

    According to latest weather, there is snow happening in the Pass tonight.. 1-3 inches, another 5-8 on Wed, inch on Thursday, 3-5 on Friday and snowing during the day on Saturday.. so we should have enough to wander about on. I'll keep checking trail reports.

    November 29

  • Janet H.

    Same old request...can I get a ride from you out of Tacoma and possibly lock my bike at your place?

    November 29

  • Leslie

    Jerry I may need a ride but need to check with another member.

    November 29

  • Brenda

    Darn I have to cancel due to a recently scheduled rehearsal on Saturday afternoon for a chorale group I'm in. Have fun.

    November 29

  • Ernie O

    Check out Pro Ski and mountain shop in North bend.

    November 27

  • Rob P

    Rumor has it the Playback Sports store in Proctor rents snowshoes.. I'll work on confirming this and posting info ASAP.

    1 · November 27

  • Rob P

    Right now, I'm thinking Gold Creek.. it's a nice, flat area.. however this is all hinging on some snow showing up this week... will keep everyone in touch as the week goes on.

    November 27

  • Ernie O

    Whittaker mountaineering in ashford has snowshoe rental packages( if going to mt.rainier) you can check web site.

    November 25

  • Peter

    I have my tire chains for my vehicle with all wheel drive.
    For snow shoes, I recommend the MSR Denali snow shoes. You can get them at REI, find them on line or rent them.

    November 21

  • Peter

    I would prefer Mount Rainier.

    November 15

    • Rob P

      I would love to go there to.. but...

      Between November 1 and May 1, all vehicles in Mount Rainier National Park are required to carry tire chains. This requirement applies to all vehicle types in all weather and road conditions.

      https://www.nps.gov/mo...­

      November 21

  • Rob P

    for those looking to buy.. Costco has a "kit" with shoes, poles and carry back for under $70. I've heard mixed things about them... but for the cost of just a few rentals they should be worth it. A good way to see if you wish to pursue it before investing in a more expensive set.

    November 21

  • Rob P

    I've found a few places that rent snowshoes, but nearly all are in the Seattle area.. I started a section in the Discussions area with links for those interested

    November 21

  • Betty P.

    Well, I still need to get some snowshoes of my own.

    November 1

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