Winter wonderland adventure on Snoqualmie Pass

A day trip to Gold Creek Pond and North Bend

By Brittany Catanzaro, JBLM spouse on February 13, 2020

Enjoy a family friendly day out on Snoqualmie Pass by playing in the snow at Gold Creek Pond and finishing up your day trip with a visit to the charming town of North Bend. Snoqualmie Pass is a mountain pass along Interstate 90 that is located only about two hours from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). It is the gateway to many adventures. Pairing the town of North Bend and snowshoeing at Gold Creek Pond creates a perfect day of combining city and nature fun! This perfect winter wonderland itinerary is easy enough for all ages including little kids. If you are looking for an effortless winter adventure to take your family and friends, then head to Snoqualmie Pass. 

First Stop: Gold Creek Pond

As you drive to Gold Creek Pond, located at the Summit on Snoqualmie Pass, you will be stunned by the mesmerizing beauty of snow-covered evergreen trees and snow-clad mountains. The beautiful drive alone makes this adventure worth it, truly a winter wonderland.

Gold Creek Pond is a two-mile lollipop loop snowshoe trail that is dog friendly. Little kids tote their sleds to slide around having a blast playing in the snow. The trail is flat and easy to navigate, making it perfect for first-time snowshoers. Once you are at the lake, take in the epic beauty of the scenery with snow-clad mountains in the background and a frozen lake in the foreground. Helpful tip: arrive early to beat the crowd.

A Sno-Park permit is needed during the winter season to park your vehicle. You can purchase your Sno-Park permit at REI or several other locations listed on the Washington State Park website. Buying a day permit is also an option. The seasonal permit is highly recommended if you plan on adventuring to Sno-Park locations more than once. 

Second and final stop: North Bend

Located near where I-90 meets State Route 18, just an hour away from JBLM, North Bend is a charming small town with a stunning view of Mount Si in the background. After playing in the snow, it is a perfect stop to fill your bellies with delicious warm food on the way home.

North Bend is famous as the fictional town featured in the television show, Twin Peaks. Twede's Café -- the Double R Diner in the show -- is an old-school diner with large food proportions.

If you are a fan of the series then obviously you must visit this town.

The unique shops are a major plus while visiting. Definitely stop into: Birches Habitat, JCK Gifts, DT Vintage & More, Pet Place Market, The North Bend Bakery and Pioneer Coffee. Grabbing a hot beverage at Pioneer Coffee is a must before exploring the town.

Having a wonderful day on the pass is an amazing experience but it is important to keep in mind safety precautions before heading out on your day trip.

It is important to carry winter necessities in your vehicle, even for day trips. Always plan for the unexpected. These items are recommended for winter travel: ice scraper, shovel (in case you need to move snow out of the way), kitty litter for tire traction, flash light, blanket, water, snacks, jumper cables or battery starter, snow chains and snow grabber mats. Be sure to check the weather and live cameras for Snoqualmie Pass. Use the WSDOT website for road conditions, road restrictions and live web cameras. 

After your trip, you will be left with a sense of accomplished adventure. You will have the desire to get back out there and explore the following weekend. North Bend and Snoqualmie Summit are a short drive from JBLM, so get out there and have a fun winter wonderland adventure.