Just an hour east of Seattle, nestled in the mountains of Snoqualmie Pass is Gold Creek Pond – a small human made lake of blue water, which features a short ADA accessible loop through the wildflowers and willows trees that surround it. Its easily accessible location right off of I-90 makes a Gold Creek Pond elopement the perfect choice for any couple who wants to get out in nature, without needing to summit a mountain for incredible views!
History of Gold Creek Pond
Gold Creek Pond is located on the land of the Snoqualmie and Coast Salish Native Americans, and the surrounding area is a mountainous region with miles of trails to explore.
It’s hard to believe that Gold Creek Pond, with its wildflower fields, blue waters, and surrounding mountains, started as a gravel pit created and used to build I-90, the highway that runs east from Seattle, all the way through Montana. After the highway was constructed, the pit became the gorgeous attraction it is today!
Gold Creek Pond is dog friendly (as long as they’re on a leash), which means your pup can easily join you on your elopement day!
Getting to Gold Creek Pond
One of the reasons Gold Creek Pond is a great elopement location is how easily accessible it is. Regardless of which direction you’re coming from, you’ll just cruise down I-90 until you reach exit 54, where you’ll turn on the well-maintained forest road and take it for a mile until you reach the parking lot.
In the winter, however, the road is closed due to snow – but Gold Creek Pond is still accessible, as parking is available on the side of the road. This will add some extra time to your trip, as you’ll need to walk, or snowshoe, about a mile to the pond!
Choosing an Elopement Date
One of the first steps to planning your Gold Creek Pond elopement will be choosing a date to tie the knot! You’ll need to consider a few things before you decide – like weather and crowds.
Weather at Gold Creek Pond
Gold Creek Pond is accessible year round, but you will get a very different experience depending on the season you choose!
Winter- You’ll be greeted with a winter wonderland scene, with snow covering the pond and the surrounding mountains. Snowshoes are recommended.
Summer- is the best time for a Gold Creek Pond elopement if you want warm, sunny weather. July and August will be your best bet for a snow free, rain free elopement day with clear views of the mountains.
Autumn- Snow often begins to fall in autumn and doesn’t melt until late spring. But, if you elope in September, you’ll get to see the woodsy surroundings of Gold Creek as the leaves are changing color.
Spring- Eloping in Spring gives you a chance to see the wildflowers bloom around the lake. The weather will be a little more unpredictable, so be prepared with umbrellas!
Keep Your Elopement Private and Crowd-Free
When you plan a Gold Creek Pond elopement, you should be prepared to run into other people. Because of its easily accessible location and low effort, high reward scenery, Gold Creek sees a lot of foot traffic!
Summer is the most popular season, as good weather tends to coincide with increased visitation, but it is also highly trafficked in the winter, as people leave the city to play in the snow! To ensure you get a little more privacy when you read your vows, I recommend eloping on a week day. Weekends bring out significantly more people, so just by eloping while most people are at work, you’ll be able to cut down on crowding.
Brush Up on the Legal Stuff
You’ll need a marriage license, which you can get at any county clerk’s office in Washington. The closest one to Gold Creek Pond is in Kittitas County, and you can find marriage license information on their website. You can apply by mail, and the fee is $39. Make sure to contact them early if you want to apply by mail!
The waiting period in Washington is three days, which means you’ll have to wait three days before getting married. They expire after 60 days.
Permits and Fees
Good news – you don’t need a wedding permit to elope at Gold Creek Pond!
However, you will need a Northwest Forest Pass to avoid getting a hefty parking ticket. A day pass is $5 per car, but if you’re a frequent visitor of Washington’s national forests, you can get an annual pass for $30.
Learn About Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace, or LNT is a set of principles that helps us reduce our impact on the outdoor spaces we visit. We humans often underestimate how much damage we can do, so following these guidelines is important, especially in an area like Gold Creek Pond, which gets a lot of visitors each day.
The main thing to keep in mind about Leave No Trace is that you should leave everything how you found it, which means no picking wildflowers, and packing out anything you bring in, like trash or elopement decor.
You can learn more about each principal LNT.org!
Where to Stay
Because Snoqualmie Pass is a popular skiing destination, there are tons of resorts and lodges nearby where you can stay during your Gold Creek Pond elopement. There’s nothing better than having a cozy home base to come back to after a day of exploring! You can search Airbnb for cabins like this adorable, rustic home, or check out the Salish Lodge and Spa – which even features a waterfall!
Plan a Magical Adventure
Eloping is all about having the best day ever – whatever that means to you! So plan an adventure and enjoy the whole day.
Here are a few things you can do near Gold Creek Pond:
Ready to Elope at Gold Creek Pond?
A Gold Creek Pond elopement is perfect for couples who want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city, without going far into the backcountry. It’s also the perfect easily accessible location for those with family or guests who aren’t up for miles of hiking. So if you’re ready to elope at this little gem tucked into the mountains of Snoqualmie Pass, contact me! As an elopement photographer, I help each couple plan their unique day – with vendor recommendations, timeline help, and places to stay – so let’s get to planning!
Meet your Washington Elopement Photographer
Hey, I’m Evangeline an adventurous and laid-back elopement photographer based in Seattle, Washington helping couples plan meaningful experiences for their wedding day in nature. I focus on capturing the vibe of your day and the epic landscape views all over Washington, Oregon, California, and beyond.