A weekend blast of wintery weather has closed the North Cascades Highway over the Cascades until next spring, along with Chinook and Cayuse passes east of Mount Rainier National Park, because of deep snow and avalanche danger.
The Washington State Department of Transportation temporarily closed a section of North Cascades Highway, also known as Highway 20, at 9:30 Sunday morning, Nov. 23, due to heavy snowfall and a snowslide in the Liberty Bell zone east of Washington Pass. After work crews found two more slides Monday, state transportation officials decided to close the pass for winter.
“Any more snow will pack those avalanche chutes, and we’d be putting the public and our crews at risk if we tried to keep the road open any longer,” said Twisp Maintenance Supervisor Don Becker. More snow at the high elevations is forecast through the Thanksgiving holiday period.
Last year, WSDOT closed the North Cascades Highway for the season on Dec. 3, 2013. It reopened May 8.
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For more information about the North Cascades Highway, go to wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/northcascades