Black Canyon Road, off of Highway 153 between Pateros and the community of Methow, Washington, is closed until repairs can be made, the U.S. Forest Service said Friday (Nov. 20). The road will remain closed to all vehicles, including wheeled and tracked vehicles and snowmobiles, throughout the winter. The groomed snowmobile route along Black Canyon road is also closed for the winter.
Recent storms brought more than 3 inches of rain, washing debris into a culvert about 4.5 miles up the road, the Forest Service said. The culvert plugged, diverting the creek down the road. Additional damage occurred further up the road, which is now closed from the Black Canyon Sno-Park to Cooper Ridge.
“The damage is extensive,” said Gene Shull, Fisheries Biologist. “Multiple road failures occurred on Black Canyon road about half way up the drainage. Repairs to the road will be time-consuming and expensive and impacts to critical steelhead habitat from sediment deposits into Black Canyon Creek from the washout are severe. Thousands of cubic yards of fine sediment was delivered to Black Canyon Creek. Steelhead spawning and rearing habitat will be impacted for a few years or more.”