How to elope

Where to elope



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How to Elope at Gold Creek Pond: Full Elopement Guide for 2023

Table of Contents:

bride and groom holding hands gold creek pond

Picturesque mountain views, vibrant blue ponds, spring wildflowers, and miles on milesss of trees. . . where in the world could I be describing?? Answer: pretty much anywhere in Washington. But for this blog post I’m going to narrow it down to just one location that has all that: Gold Creek Pond! This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to elope at Gold Creek Pond, one of the most beautiful (and wheelchair-friendly!) elopement locations in WA. I’ve made sure to include the most up-to-date info out there, since Gold Creek Pond has changed their permit process & requirements in recent years, so this should make it easy peasyyyy for ya to plan your Gold Creek Pond elopement!!

couple kissing gold creek pond

Where is Gold Creek Pond?

Gold Creek Pond is a beautiful lil’ spot at the top of Snoqualmie Pass that has become suuuper popular the past few years because of how easy it is to access. The Gold Creek Pond trail boasts AMAZING views of Gold Creek Valley & Chikamin Peak in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, especially on days when the sky is clear and the water is calm – the reflections in the water will leave your jaw on the floor!

Gold Creek Pond is about an hour east of Seattle, just under 2.5 hours south of Bellingham, and 3.5 hours west of Spokane. Because it’s so dang close to Seattle via I-90 E, it’s a really great option for not only elopements or engagement photos, but also just for an easy day trip!! It gets super crowded on the weekends thanks to visitors coming from Seattle, which is why it’s important to choose the right time of the year + time of day to have your elopement at Gold Creek Pond – skip down to this section for more about the best time to elope at Gold Creek Pond.

couple holding each other gold creek pond

Why Elope at Gold Creek Pond?

Before I dive further into the deets about getting married at Gold Creek Pond, here’s a quick list of reasons why you should elope at Gold Creek Pond to help you figure out if it’s the right elopement location for you:

  • It’s only an hour away from Seattle
  • The mountain + forest views behind the pond are incredible
  • It’s open year-round (and great for snowshoeing in the winter!)
  • The spring + summer wildflowers are glorious
  • It’s wheelchair-accessible
  • The trail is easy & only 1 mile total
  • It’s flat & doesn’t require any hiking
  • It’s easy for you & your guests to access, including kids & elder adults
  • There’s a picnic area (with amazing views) for an elopement lunch/dinner with your guests
bride and groom getting married gold creek pond

FAQ’s About Eloping at Gold Creek Pond 

I know what you may be thinking. . . what sort of permits do we need?? What’s allowed/not allowed? Can we bring our dogs?! Let’s get into all of that now with these FAQ’s about eloping at Gold Creek Pond!

Can you get married at Gold Creek Pond?

Hell yea you can!! Gold Creek Pond has become suchhh a popular wedding & elopement location because of its stunning views + easy access, so you’ll be following in the footsteps of many couples who wanted to tie the knot in front of those same gorgeous views.

bride and groom reading vows gold creek pond

Do you need a pass to visit Gold Creek Pond?

Since it’s part of the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie-National Forest, you’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass to park at Gold Creek Pond.

A day pass costs $5, which you can purchase online & print before visiting, or purchase in person at a Forest Service office. If you plan on visiting more WA national forests throughout the year (or visiting Gold Creek Pond more than a few times), you can buy an annual pass instead, which costs $30.

These Northwest Forest Passes can be used at any Forest Service recreation site in both Washington and Oregon where you have to pay a day-use fee to park!

couple standing together gold creek pond

Do you need a wedding permit to get married at Gold Creek Pond?

Nope, you don’t need a special wedding permit to have an elopement or wedding at Gold Creek Pond. The only time you need a Special Use Event Permit in a WA national forest is if your event will include 75 people or more, but I definitely don’t recommend holding that large of an outdoor adventure elopement/wedding anyway!

couple kissing

Where can you get married at Gold Creek Pond?

I’d recommend having your elopement ceremony along Gold Creek Pond Loop, which is the 1-mile round trip loop around the pond. The elevation gain is only 10 feet, and the entire loop is paved, making it ADA-accessible and great for your elopement if you have kids attending, or guests in wheelchairs/with limited mobility! You can take the trail counter-clockwise around the loop through the beautiful wildflowers (in the spring & summer), and you’ll eventually get to a maintained boardwalk that takes you to the north end of the pond, where you start getting those views you came for. The beach at the beginning/end of the loop is also a great spot to hang out with your guests, with picnic tables & beautiful scenery to enjoy!

couple standing together gold creek pond

How many guests can you have at a Gold Creek Pond wedding?

You can technically have up to 74 guests without having to get a Special Use Permit through the Forest Service, but I recommend keeping your guest count to 15 or under. This way you’ll have plenty of room to celebrate with your loved ones while making sure you respect the land as well as other visitors, and minimize your impact on the uber-popular Gold Creek Pond trail! It also just makes for less of a hassle so you don’t have to worry about a ton of people meeting you at the right time, getting parking passes, etc.

couple kissing gold creek pond

Are dogs allowed at Gold Creek Pond?

Yes, you can bring your dog(s) to Gold Creek Pond as long as they’re leashed! Bring ‘em along to witness your ceremony, walk down the aisle with ya, or just tag along on the trail to your ceremony spot.

couple holding dog gold creek pond

Can you swim at Gold Creek Pond?

At the moment there are signs around the pond that warn you not to swim or go fishing in the pond, so if you want to go for a swim, it’s best to find somewhere else in the area (don’t worry, there’s a variety of waterfalls & lakes around that could be great spots to take a dip!).

couple laughing together gold creek pond

When to Elope at Gold Creek Pond

Best time of year: June-October

One of the reasons Gold Creek Pond is SO popular is that it’s pretty great to visit all year-round, unlike many other locations in Washington that close off for the winter or are blocked due to snow! You’ll get the best weather at Gold Creek Pond in the summer & early fall, from around June to October. But if you’re down to get chilly and would rather bring your snowshoes than your flip flops, you can totally visit in the winter!

couple drinking champagne gold creek pond

Best time of day: Weekday mornings

To avoid crowds as much as possible, I recommend eloping at Gold Creek Pond on a weekday, and in the early morning if you’re able to. Weekends get sooo crowded so definitely do everything you can to have your ceremony on a weekday, but if you really can’t, then you should at least go as early in the morning as possible – although even early weekend mornings attract crowds! Sunrise or early morning during the week will be your best bet to have a little more privacy during your Gold Creek Pond elopement

couple dancing gold creek pond

Where to Stay Near Gold Creek Pond

Airbnb’s in Snoqualmie Pass

The Snoqualmie Pass area has a ton of super cozy Airbnb’s in the woods that would be perfect to stay in for your elopement! Say your vows at Gold Creek Lake, find a cool hike nearby, and then come back to your A-frame cabin in the forest at night for some R&R in the hot tub, s’mores around the campfire, and toasts with your guests. Here are some of the best Snoqualmie Pass Airbnb’s!

couple hugging each other gold creek pond

Gold Creek Pond Elopement Packages

If you’re eloping, I’m guessing it’s cause you want to tie the knot in a way that’s meaningful to you and your partner, without all the stress that traditional weddings can bring. I want to empower you to make the brave decision to elope and to do whatever the hell feels right to you, whether that’s a private adventure elopement in Snoqualmie Pass + a sunset picnic at Gold Creek Pond or an intimate wedding in front of the pond with your closest loved ones! I want to create images of your memories that you guys will be able to look back on forever. 

If you’re ready to find out what my Gold Creek Pond elopement packages look like, you can learn about what I offer for elopement photography here, and then contact me here so we can plan your perfect, customized elopement experience. Can’t wait to cheer you on every step of the way & document your special day (hey, that rhymes)!

bride and groom getting married gold creek pond

Gold Creek Pond Elopement Vendors

Here are some Washington elopement vendors I’ve worked with recently that you should def look into for your Gold Creek Pond elopement!!

Officiant: Officiant Jimmie

Hair & Makeup: Anne Timms

Florist: Little Joy Fleurs

Charcuterie Boards: Adore Boards

More Washington Elopement Locations You’ll Love

Mt. Baker Elopement Guide

Mount Rainier Elopement Guide

Olympic National Park Elopement Guide

PNW Waterfall Elopement Locations Guide

  1. […] If you wanna learn more about Gold Creek Pond, check out my full Gold Creek Pond Elopement Guide!! […]

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