3 Washington mountain passes to close for winter

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the closure of Chinook Pass, Cayuse Pass and the North Cascades Highway for the duration of the winter reports The Seattle Times.

The DOT reviewed snowfall accumulations and determined that the risk of avalanche on these roadways is too great to allow for traffic.

Every year during winter, Chinook Pass, Cayuse Pass and North Cascades Highway are closed because of hazardous driving conditions and avalanche risk. The DOT says if a driver were to be stranded in any one of these wilderness areas, it could be hours or even days before a stranded motorist might be found if an accident or mishap were to occur. These passes have a low number of travelers crossing them in the winter, little or no cell phone service and extreme weather conditions.

Following is exact closure information:

  • Cayuse Pass (State Route 123) in Mt. Rainier National Park – closed from SR 410 junction to Stevens Canyon Road
  • Chinook Pass (State Route 41) – closed milepost 74 to milepost 57
  • North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) – closed at milepost 134, east of Diablo and at milepost 170, 14 miles west of Mazama.

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Click here for DOT Statewide Mountain Pass Information.

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