Skip to main content

Bonney Lake Gnome Doors: We're Going on a Gnome Hunt

Search for adorable hidden gnome home doors in parks around Bonney Lake

Published on: April 13, 2020

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!

Get our weekly roundup of Seattle-area outings and parenting tips straight to your inbox.

Share this resource with your friends!