Finding Fall at Gold Creek Pond (A great hike for kids near Snoqualmie Pass)

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Everywhere in Seattle the leaves are putting on the best show they can and I’m trying to snap as many pictures of my kids as possible because it is just too beautiful to stop and one day they probably won’t want me taking so many pictures any more.  I’ve also decided that because of this we’re going to actually get real pictures taken somewhere this year too, so hopefully I get this taken care of before we make our Christmas Cards.  We typically use Tiny Prints, but I got a mailing from Paperless Post (who I use for all my online invites) recently and it looks like they are now doing paper cards too so I’m totally torn!

But I still need to actually GET our pictures together and a great place where we took some fantastic fall photos recently was up in Snoqualmie Pass,where we’ve spent a lot of time lately with the cabin project. 

stopping near the lake at Gold Creek Pond

A friend told us about a place called Gold Creek Pond and that it was a perfect hike for kids.  To go there you definitely need a Northwest Forest Pass, but it is paved and flat and only about a mile around the lake and it is absolutely too beautiful for words and an excellent spot to take fall pictures near Seattle.

Hiking with kids around Gold Creek PondStopping for Hot Chocolate at Gold Creek Pond

(I think it’s only about a 45-60 minute drive away and we probably drive further to get to the pumpkin patch.)  My husband is smart and packed a thermos of hot chocolate and other treats to keep us warm and happy while we hiked and we found a beautiful bench on the lake to just stop and take it all in-I was actually impressed at the number of benches there were around the lake for people to stop and sit and enjoy the scenery, but I think we were almost the only people there that day-we only saw one other person!  We noticed a ton of picnic spots near one part on the lake so I’m sure it’s really popular to eat here in the summer and it probably gets quite full.

gold creek pond

But right now it is really chilly in the mountains and I always make sure we pack emergency supplies just in case we get lost like trail mix and extra warm clothes, even on really easy hikes like this one.  And thankfully we didn’t need any of it, but it is always reassuring to pack extras especially with kids in tow.

And at this time of year, the salmon are also running in the creek and though I didn’t get close enough to get good pictures (I didn’t want the boys to copy me and fall in) there were many salmon in the water and it was neat to watch them bravely splash upstream.  We also saw hundreds of mushrooms and we warned the kids not to touch any of them because we don’t know which ones are poisonous or not, but we had them point them out so we could snap pictures to remember how they looked and the guys always like something to look for while they’re hiking too so all the fish and mushrooms were quite entertaining.

Gold Creek Pond

Because it was so beautiful here we know we want to come back and if we run out of fall weekends, we will probably try to snowshoe here when it starts to get really cold.  We tried snowshoeing a family for the first time last year near Whistler and it was such a fabulous way to get around so we now all have our own snowshoes.  It was a lot more cost effective to buy these rather than rent and the snow should make for some really beautiful pictures too.

So if you’re in the Washington area, have you been to Gold Pond Creek before?  Or do you know anywhere else in the Seattle area that is perfect to take pictures in the fall?  And if you know a great Seattle photographer, I’d love to hear too!

(PS. I heard a rumor that this weekend might be sunny here in Seattle.  I totally can’t wait to get some beautiful leaves-in-the-sun photos this weekend.  Please keep all your fingers and toes crossed.)

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