OUTDOOR TRAVEL -- With avalanche risk growing over the weekend, the North Cascades Highway portion of State Route 20 west of Mazama, Washington, was closed today for the winter season.
The highway over Washington Pass and into North Cascades National Park had been temporarily closed on Friday as a storm dumped snow and created avalanche conditions.
Department of Transportation crews evaluated conditions today and decided to call it a season.
The pass opened on April 22 after about a month of work by crews clearing the roadway. This year's closing is almost a week later than in 2015 when the pass was closed on Nov. 16.
The SR 20 connects the Skagit River Valley and the Methow Valley with a wild ribbon of asphalt past lakes and jagged peaks.
That said, the pass isn't closed to everyone during winter. While licensed motor vehicles can no longer get through, backcountry skiers, snowshoers, snowmobilers and others can use the area year-round. Be prepared and know conditions before you go.