Mount Rainier's West Side road closed
Several road closure notices at Mount Rainier this week.
Yesterday, the park announced that Washington State Dept. of Transportation is temporarily closing Cayuse and Chinook Passes (State Routes 123 and 410) due to avalanche concerns. See current WSDOT pass reports here for more info.
This week, Mount Rainier National Park also closed the West Side Road to all users in order to repair flood damage at milepost 3.1. Park officials estimate the closure will last about three weeks. The closure affects all traffic, including cars, hikers, skiers snowshoers and snowmobiles.
Most of the West Side Road has been closed to vehicular traffic for over 15 years due to multiple washouts. Now it's a popular winter recreation site. The closure will prevent all access during repairs, so plan your winter recreation accordingly.
On that note, the mountains got a fair dumping of snow this week. If you're into winter recreation, definitely bookmark the SNOTEL Washington site. This very cool system of remote, real-time sensors gives you current snow levels at 67 sites across the state. As of noon today, it looks like Paradise at Mount Rainier has about 7 inches on the ground, Olallie Meadows (near Snoqualmie Pass) has about 7 inches, and Steven Pass has...well, about 7 inches. Not exactly prime skiing conditions, but perhaps worth strapping on those snowshoes and going for tromp...