Mountain Passes Open
Hikers traveling around the state now have more options with popular mountain passes opening this week. Cayuse Pass opened Tuesday and the North Cascades Highway opened at noon today. Chinook Pass will open before Memorial Day.
Hikers traveling around the state now have more options with popular mountain passes opening this week. Cayuse Pass (SR 123) on the east side of Mount Rainier opened Tuesday, and North Cascades Highway (SR 20) is opened at noon today. The final piece of the puzzle, Chinook Pass (SR 410), should be cleared and open by the Memorial Day weekend.
These routes give hikers more flexibility in route-planning. Cayuse Pass provides more access to Mount Rainier National Park, including the Ohanapecosh Campground. The opening of the North Cascades Highway makes it easier for many hikers to explore the Methow Valley, including ice cream cones in Winthrop and a stroll along the Chewuch River on the Se Teekh Wa trail. Car campgrounds will also be open in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
Snow removal crews on the North Cascades Highway have been worked hard since March 26 to cut through the snow, getting the highway open a full two weeks ahead of last year. Do note that this road is often closed a time or two after the initial opening due to avalanche danger, so check back on the WSDOT site until conditions are consistently stable.
Now grab the Gazetteer and Green Trails maps and start planning your hike over the mountains!