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Photographer calls out park visitors at Snoqualmie Pass for leaving overflowing trash, broken glass

Gold Creek Pond is a popular spot in Snoqualmie among outdoor enthusiasts.

Known for its gorgeous views and ADA-accessible trails, Gold Creek has gradually attracted more people and more memorable moments and ceremonies, like elopements.

Kaitlyn Holeman is a small wedding and elopement photographer based out of Washington. Just this past weekend, Holeman made the trip to Gold Creek Pond to scout out some spots for future clients, something many photographers do. When she arrived, the view was breathtaking. But not for its gorgeous tall evergreens or the large glistening pond just down the trail. Holeman instead was blown away by the amount of trash overflowing from the trash can, spilling out, over, and feet away from the trash can itself.

Shattered glass can be seen sprinkled across the parking lot, where piles of tree debris poorly mask the sharp and shiny glass.

Upon her arrival, Holeman was not prepared for what she saw. Her initial reaction was one of pure shock and disbelief.

“I felt like something had to be wrong,” said Holeman.

With a phone in her hand, Holeman took photos of what she saw and shared them with a local Facebook group for elopements and small weddings across the Pacific Northwest.

Her posts grabbed the attention of many people. One of the people is fellow photographer Katie Denton.

Denton, a photographer who travels across the country for her work, has worked in the Pacific Northwest numerous times. Her work usually brings her to Gold Creek Pond, specifically when in Washington.

Denton tells KIRO 7 that seeing Holeman’s photos was upsetting, but sadly, with her travels across the country, “This is something that is not just in that area, it’s everywhere.”

Despite efforts to encourage visitors to “pack out what you pack in” and practice the principle of “leave no trace,” Holeman worries that people’s lack of action and accountability in littering and trashing public spaces could eventually lead to limited or restricted access to some of these public spaces.

“A lot of national parks and national forests are cracking down on a lot of this because it’s becoming such a nuisance,” adds Holeman.

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