Featured image: A view of the North Cascade Mountains from near Acme, Washington (photo by Cheryl Landes)
Post updated May 13, 2017
Washington State Route 20 (SR 20), the North Cascades Highway, is among the state’s most scenic drives with breathtaking views of jagged snow-covered peaks, pristine glacier-fed aquamarine lakes, and dense forests. Bald eagles often fly overhead and deer graze alongside the road.
The North Cascades Highway is also among the highest pass crossings in the state, so every winter, the road closes for a few months from mileposts 134 east of Newhalem to 171 west of Winthrop. Typically the closure starts in mid-December and ends in mid-April or May, depending on how quickly road crews can remove the heavy snow.
This year, snow started later, and in some locations, still falls occasionally. And it’s keeping crews busy with snow removal and road repairs. On the North Cascades Highway, crews have been working hard to remove 20-25 feet of snow since April 10. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced yesterday that the highway will reopen at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16.
During the road clearing, WSDOT allows skiers and bicyclists past the gates Friday-Sunday only.
For updates on the North Cascades Highway reopening, check WSDOT’s SR 50 page.