Passes Closed for Winter
Cayuse (SR 123) and Chinook (SR 410) Passes and the North Cascades Highway (SR 20) have all closed for the winter. The Mountain Loop Highway is at least temporarily closed between Deer Creek and Barlow Pass.
In more wintery news, all of Washington's seasonal mountain passes have closed for the winter.
Cayuse Pass (SR 123) and Chinook Pass (SR 410) closed in November - limiting access in and around Mount Rainier National Park. Cayuse Pass is closed at milepost (MP) 5 near Stevens Canyon Road. Chinook Pass is closed between Crystal Mountain Blvd (MP 57) and Morse Creek (MP 74.5).
The Mountain Loop Highway is closed between Deer Creek Road and Barlow Pass due to downed trees. The road may reopen, but it is likely that snow will keep it closed for the rest of the winter.
Finally, the North Cascades Highway (SR 20) closed yesterday for the season. Two new feet of snow made it impossible for crews to keep it open and safe any longer. The highway is closed between MP 134, seven miles east of Diablo Dam, and MP 171, nine miles west of Mazama.
While the closure of the North Cascades Highway makes cross-Cascades travel more difficult, there are great snowshoeing, skiing and even hiking options on both the east and west sides of the pass. Check out WTA's Hiking Guide for some North Cascades suggestions on where to go. Snowshoe content is provided by Mountaineers Books.
When will the passes open again? Well, that's up to Mother Nature. But in the past, Cayuse & Chinook passes usually open in May, and the North Cascades Highway generally is plowed out by late April. You can see the historical dates here.