The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said Monday (Nov. 16) that the North Cascades Highway is closed for the season due to recent heavy snows and a forecast for more.
The highway had been closed Friday (Nov. 13) because of snow accumulation and the threat of avalanches.
WSDOT crews close a stretch of State Route 20 every year once snow fills the avalanche chutes that line the highway, which poses a safety risk to travelers and road crews.
The closure points start at milepost 134/Ross Dam Trailhead and at milepost 171/Silver Star Gate. When significant snow begins to fall, WSDOT crews will move the western closure point back to milepost 130/Colonial Creek Campground and the eastern closure point to milepost 178/Early Winters Campground, WSDOT said. These weather-dependent changes usually happen in January, WSDOT said.
Hikers, skiers, snowmobilers and other recreationists can access the closed portion of the highway during the winter season. Users should park in designated parking areas to allow plow drivers the space they need to clear snow around the closed stretch’s access gates.
The highway closed on Dec. 11 in 2019, and reopened on May 12, 2020.