Gold Creek Basin

In winter, it's an easy to moderate snowshoe or ski tour through a wide, level valley in the shadow of Kendall Peak to the north and Rampart Ridge to the east near Snoqualmie Pass. In summer, enjoy a short walk around Gold Creek Pond, or a more adventurous journey up Gold Creek to as far as Alaska Lake.

getting there


Take Exit 54 off of I-90, turn left (north), and then turn right onto Forest Road 4832 that parallels the north side of I-90. Drive 1.0 mile, turn left on Gold Creek Road  (Road 142), and turn left in 0.3 mile into the Gold Creek Pond parking lot (2,600 ft).


Take Exit 54 off of I-90 (2 miles east of Snoqualmie Pass), turn left, and cross under the interstate. A few hundred feet north of the interchange, turn right onto a narrow paved road and drive east paralleling I-90 one mile. Cars generally line both sides of this road, because the shoulder is the primary parking area for the long Gold Creek Sno-Park. Park at the end of the plowed road, near the small bridge over the stream connecting Mardee and Keechelus Lakes.

On the Trail

Gold Creek Pond Loop

1-mile loop, 100 feet of elevation gain, 2,700 ft  high point

Hike the loop around Golf Creek Pond in either direction on a combination of road, boardwalk, and trail. A short spur trail from the loop leads to the pond.  A picnic area is near the end of the loop when hiked counterclockwise.

Gold Creek

10.2 miles round trip, 500 feet of elevation gain, 3,100 ft high point

Hike the Gold Creek Trail (No. 1314). The first 0.3 mile is on a gated driveway, the second 0.3 mile follows an abandoned road that dwindles to a rough trail. At 1.5 miles, enter the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and at 3 miles, cross Gold Creek and continue up the west side of the valley. Crossing Silver Creek at mile 3.5 and pass several dispersed campsites along the way. After crossing Alaska Creek at 4.5 miles, continue another half mile to a grassy meadow and a fork in the trail.

Alaska Lake

11.3 miles round trip, 1,600 feet of elevation gain, 4,213 ft high point

Hike the Gold Creek Trail 5.1 miles to is junction with the Alaska Lake Trail (H. 1314.1). Take the left fork and climb steeply for one mile through vine maple, slide alder, and finally a rock slide to Alaska Lake (4,200 ft). Take care in the spring and early summer when streams are running high or snow covers the route.

Joe Lake

13.3 miles round trip,  2,000 feet of elevation gain, 4,624 ft high point

Hike the Gold Creek Trail 5.1 miles to its junction with the Alaska Lake Trail. Continue straight, hiking along the creek for 2 miles ascending through avalanche debris and forest toward Alaska Mountain. From the southeast ridge of Alaska Mountain, a steep boot path on rocks and roots climbs to Joe Lake (4,624 ft).

ski & snowshoe route

Leave the Gold Creek Sno-Park and head over to and then up the Gold Creek Valley.  You can make this a short trip of roughly 4 miles round trip looping around Gold Creek Pond if you wish or 10+ miles round trip if you head farther up the valley. The climb is gentle with less than 500 feet of elevation gain for any trip.


  • Snowshoe leaders, please limit elevation gain in order to keep this an Easy difficulty trip.

Information for Leaders


  • Please note that Alaska Lake and Joe Lake are in the Alpine Likes Wilderness. Wilderness restrictions apply.
  • If you are scheduling this as a non-course related activity, please limit your group size to the default party size. The maximum party size is for use by course field trips only, and includes both students and instructors. Group size maximums do not reflect how course field trips are run (in smaller groups of students and instructors), but allow for course leaders to register the course in our system.
  • If you are scheduling a course field trip, please contact our Member Services Team to confirm the field trip and any permitting regulations.
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Length: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 500 ft
  • 3,100 ft
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207
  • USGS Chikamin Peak
  • USGS Snoqualmie Pass

Upcoming Activities

Day Hike - Upper Gold Creek Valley

Day Hiking Trip
We will circle Gold Creek Pond and hike 6 miles up the creek and back.
Difficulty: Strenuous
Sun, Oct 8, 2023
No Prerequisites
4 participants
Registration closes Oct 6
Foothills Branch
Richard DuBois

Day Hike - Alaska Lake

Day Hiking Trip
A Fall color hike to a beautiful lake. The trail starts out easy, but becomes
Difficulty: Strenuous
Sat, Oct 21, 2023
No Prerequisites
8 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens Oct 9
Foothills Branch
Barbara Folmer

Junior Mac Rock Climb Weekend Trips - Gold Creek Basin

Youth Youth activity: Junior MAC - Olympia
Weekend trips for Jr MAC youth and their families to get out, practice their climbing
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sat, Dec 16, 2023
No Prerequisites
11 participants 12 chaperones
Registration closes Dec 14
Olympia Branch
Claire Edwards
Qualified Youth Leader

Explorers Weekend Trips - Gold Creek Basin

Youth Youth activity: Olympia Explorers 2023/2024
Weekend trips for Explorers youth and their families to get out, practice their skills, and
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sun, Dec 17, 2023
No Prerequisites
11 participants 12 chaperones
Registration closes Dec 15
Olympia Branch
Claire Edwards
Qualified Youth Leader

Beginner Snowshoe - Gold Creek Pond Loop

Snowshoeing Trip
Fun start to 2024 with New Year's Day Beginner Snowshoe *geared towards families with children/adult
Difficulty: Easy
Mon, Jan 1, 2024
No Prerequisites
1 participant 1 leader
Registration closes Dec 22
Foothills Branch
Brad Peacock
Qualified Youth Leader

Snowshoe - Ford Middle School - Gold Creek Basin

Youth Field trip: Mountain Workshop - Ford Middle School
Snowshoeing outing
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 13, 2024
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration closes Jan 11
Tacoma Branch
RyAnn Peverley
Qualified Youth Leader

Field Trip (Saturday) - Gold Creek Basin

Avalanche Safety Field trip: AIARE 1 Avalanche Course for Skiers and Splitboarders
This is the Saturday of a full weekend long field trip.
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Sat, Jan 20, 2024
No Prerequisites
0 participants 5 instructors
Registration closes Dec 22
Foothills Branch
Bonnie Eiber
Qualified Youth Leader

Adventure Activity - Gold Creek Pond Loop

Youth Youth activity: Mini Mountaineers
Mini Mountaineers get to try out snowshoeing!
Difficulty: Easy
Sun, Feb 18, 2024
No Prerequisites
3 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Feb 16
Tacoma Branch
Megan Hartness
Qualified Youth Leader
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Gold Creek
  • Gold Creek Pond
  • Gold Creek Pond Loop
  • Lower Gold Creek Basin
  • Upper Gold Creek Valley
  • Alaska Lake
  • Joe Lake
  • Alaska & Joe Lakes

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.