A gnome door in Bonney Lake. Credit: Tiffany Doerr Guerzon
Gnome door search
Located 15 miles east of Tacoma, the city of Bonney Lake sits above the Puyallup River Valley, offering gorgeous views of vistas ranging from Victor Falls and Lake Tapps to Mount Rainier. In addition to views, the city has found another unique way to entice families outdoors: searching for gnome home doors.
The fun started several years ago when city councilmember Laurie Carter read about a tiny door in a tree in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Curious people were coming from all over to see the mysterious “gnome door.” She emailed a picture of the door to fellow councilmember Tom Watson, who happens to be a woodcarver.
“Could you carve one of these?” Carter asked.
He could and did — 10 times over. Watson initially carved and painted 10 unique doors that he placed on trees around Bonney Lake; eight doors remain for families to search for.
Want to join the gnome home hunt? The doors can be found in large and small parks, on hiking trails and even at the Bonney Lake Library. Check out our map of gnome door locations and use the arrows above the image to find hints for locating each one. Happy hunting!
Editor's note: Families searching for gnome doors must follow social distancing protocols. If others are looking at a particular door, wait until they've left before approaching. Bonney Lake playgrounds are temporarily closed, as is the Allan Yorke skate park.