Anticipated spring snow storms may hamper progress

information and photos released by WSDOT

Hello fellow North Cascades enthusiasts! The first week of clearing on SR 20 North Cascades Highway has wrapped up. On the east side, our crew was able to cut in as far as Lone Pine at milepost 168. That means the new east side closure point is at Silver Star gate at milepost 171.

Even though the clearing effort is progressing, with winter weather headed our way, our east side crew stopped short of the first Cutthroat avalanche path. That way they don’t have to clear it twice. Work smarter, not harder, right?

The west side crew is making progress clearing ditches. Rocky debris must be removed with a loader then hauled away, so it can be time consuming work. Crews on both sides work to clear the road of snow and debris, then will need to make repairs to pavement and guardrail. Given how early we are in the clearing process and the snow forecast for this weekend, we don’t have any more of an estimate for the clearing work other than “four to five weeks”.

With the road open to Silver Star on the east side and fresh snow on the way, backcountry recreation is calling for many of you. Spring temperature changes make uncertain conditions, so we strongly recommend that if you plan to head up past the closure points, that you consult the Northwest Avalanche Center for current backcountry avalanche threat. 

Also for the safety of you and our crew members, please do not attempt to access areas where we are actively working.  The east side crew schedule is typically Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WSDOT will continue to share updates to the 2022 spring clearing on FlickrFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.