Outdoors blog

North Cascades Highway closes, possibly for season

 Alpine larch beging their autumn golden glow in early October at Sunrise Lake high above the Methow River in the North Cascades. (Tanner Grant)
Alpine larch beging their autumn golden glow in early October at Sunrise Lake high above the Methow River in the North Cascades. (Tanner Grant)

MOUNTAIN PASSES -- The North Cascades Highway closed in the past hour (Tuesday evening) as Washington highway crews prepare for storms and heavy snow storms in the coming days.

State Department of Transportation officials say they will reassess road conditions, avalanche danger and weather forecasts on Monday to determine whether the Highway 20 pass can be reopened.

The highway betwen Winthrop west to Marblemount closed for the winter on Dec. 1 last year

The National Weather Service predicts up to 22 inches of snow by Thursday morning with more snow to come during the weekend.

It's time to start keeping an eye on the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association cross-country ski trail grooming situation.

Three to five inches of snow have been falling daily since Friday at the higher elevations of the highway near Washington Pass.

Farther south in the Cascades, Chinook and Cayuse passes -- mountain gateways to Mount Rainier -- already have closed for the season.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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