Work is underway to clear the rockfall from Harts Pass Road, northwest of Winthrop, District Ranger Mike Liu said late last week. Crews are breaking up and removing the large boulders that have blocked the road since last November.

“They’re making good progress,” Liu said. He said the road may be open by early this week, if not sooner. 

“Unfortunately, while the road was closed, some individuals found a way through the rock fall and vandalized the Harts Pass Guard Station and the Slate Peak Lookout,” said Liu. “Vandalism to historic structures carries both a financial and social cost for future generations who visit the area.”

Harts Pass Road is a narrow, unpaved mountain road that does not allow for trailer access and the use of wider vehicles, such as motor homes, which are discouraged. Vehicles pulling trailers are prohibited on Harts Pass Road. Updates about road information are posted to the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/allerts-notices.

As the highest point in Washington state accessible by car, Hart’s Pass is a popular destination for forest visitors. The road, which hangs along a cliff wall, was built in 1893 to access gold and silver mines and is now a popular destination for its scenic vistas and wildflower displays. 

For more information, contact the Methow Valley Ranger District at 996-4000.