Outdoors blog

Snow closes North Cascades Highway, brings out Methow nordic groomers

WINTER SPORTS -- The cross-country ski trails in the Methow Valley near Winthrop are finally getting a good coating of snow, and new trails are opening to skiers.

The Washington Transportation Department has closed the North Cascades Highway because of heavy snow expected from this new storm, which could drop as much as 2 feet of new snow in the higher areas.

The highway closed Monday afternoon. DOT said it would assess the situation after the storm to determine if the highway will remain closed for the winter.

The North Cascades Highway is the term given to the 22 miles portion of Highway 20 between Newhalem and Mazama. This stretch -- which includes 4,855-foot Rainy Pass and 5,477-foot Washington Pass -- is usually closed by winter snow and avalanches.

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Rich Landers

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