North Cascades Highway: Still under 75 feet of snow


WSDOT hopes to have Highway 20 open by Memorial Day. But they aren’t making any promises.

A D6 dozer takes on a 75 foot wall of snow in the North Cascades

SR 20, also known as the North Cascades Highway, closes every winter due to avalanche hazard. Usually the road is open in April. This year, they are hoping to get it open by the end of May.

A snowblower digs through debris on the road

According to the WSDOT website, crews are working hard on Cayuse Pass, Chinook Pass and SR 20, hoping to get “at least two of the passes open by Memorial Day.”

They call this spring cleaning

While they are getting close on Cayuse and SR 20, they still do not have an estimate on Chinook. The website also states, “the last time all three passes opened so late was in 1974.”

Check out more WSDOT photos on Flickr.

5 responses »

  1. Kim

    That must be a slide or debris accumulation, because the telemetry only shows 93 inches on the ground at 5500 feet as of noon today.

    Hope you are staying dry at Crystal with telemetry stating over 2.6 inches of liquid precip. since last nite! Only .55 at meadows.

    • I agree. It must be avalanche debris. The photo of that D6 was taken right under Liberty Bell, a known slidepath. According to their website, they’re getting closer on Cayuse. Fingers crossed!

  2. Kim

    In see you are a follower of Prof. Cliff Mass’s weather blog–I like it a lot too. He has the knack of explaining complex weather situations in terms the average layman understands.

    • Sam,
      Yes, I do follow Cliff Mass’s blog. And he’s calling for dryer and warmer temps by the end of the week, even though the NWS is calling for rain. I’m going with Cliff!

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