North Cascade Hwy opening soon!!!

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allrider

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Hello fellow North Cascades enthusiasts!

I inserted the latest update 5/6/22 here and at the end.

Hello fellow North Cascades enthusiasts!

Week six of the 2022 spring clearing brought us to that magic moment when the west side and east side crews met west of the Rainy Pass summit. The last few miles were some of the slowest going, with snow depths over 6 feet, making it necessary to use an excavator to knock down the snow from above before the blower could clear the roadway.

The crews also performed necessary pavement and guardrail repair, as well as another round of avalanche control. At the moment the pavement is clear and we are very close to opening.

But with up to 16 inches of snow forecast for the weekend, Mother Nature has decided once again to have the final say in the reopening schedule. Spring snow can often turn to rain, which could trigger wash outs and rockslides. If the weather remains cold, that could mean more avalanche control will be necessary before the road can be reopened to traffic.

For those adventurous cyclists: the pavement is clear and this would be the chance to ride without sharing the road with vehicle traffic. Be prepared for cold weather conditions, consult the Northwest Avalanche Center for current backcountry avalanche conditions, and know there is very little is any cell service through Rainy and Washington Passes.

Once our crew has had an opportunity early next week to clean up after weekend, they’ll set a reopening time and I’ll be sure to share that information as soon as I have it. Stay tuned for the final update of the 2022 spring clearing.

We’ll be sure to share more on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Safe travels and have a great weekend-

Lauren Loebsack, Communications 509-860-0000 (mobile)
North Central Region-Wenatchee

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Don't miss the pics on the flickr link below.

The eastside crew cut a single path to the summit of Washington Pass to wrap up the fourth week of 2022 spring clearing. Snow depths of nearly eight feet on the highway at the top of the pass means the sno cat and loader need to knock down and move snow to about 6 feet for the blower to clear a path on the roadway.

On the west side, crews reached milepost 153. That leaves about 10 miles between the two crews, but there is more than clearing the road ahead before the highway can be reopened to traffic. The entire road width and shoulders must be cleared and any pavement and guardrail damage must be repaired. We know many of you are eagerly waiting for your first trip over the North Cross this year, but we’re still too far out to say when we will reopen for sure.

The road remains closed at the Ross Dam Trailhead at milepost 134 on the west side and Silver Star gate at milepost 171 on the east. If you plan to recreate behind the closure points, we strongly recommend that you consult the Northwest Avalanche Center for current backcountry avalanche conditions.

We’ll keep sharing updates to the 2022 spring clearing on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Safe travels and have a great weekend-
Lauren Loebsack, Communications 509-860-0000 (mobile)
North Central Region-Wenatchee

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Cyclepath

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I and another Canuck riding buddy are hoping to hit the middle stretch of WA20 (between Tonasket and Kettle Falls) about May 20th.
Will be our first time back on that loved highway in almost 3 years.
 

Panman

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I remember riding over once when they only cleared to the white line, it was a bit eerie in this one spot as the walls of snow seemed 15 to twenty feet tall!
 

allrider

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4/29 update: Looks like 2nd week of May based on this report.

You are subscribed to North Cascades Highway Newsletter for Washington State Department of Transportation. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Hello fellow North Cascades enthusiasts!

The fifth week of the 2022 spring clearing of the North Cascades wrapped up slightly different than expected if you’ve followed previous weeks’ reports. The eastside crew has managed to get to Rainy Pass and found it in very different condition than the assessment on March 28. In March, the crew observed 6 ½ ft. of snow over the road but the spring snow earlier this month added more than a foot, and snow depths are now between 7 ½ and 8 ft. deep at the summit. That means the sno cat and an excavator are needed to knock the snow down to depths of 6 ft. or less so the blower can clear the roadway.

The crew ended the week near Bridge Creek trailhead near milepost 159. The report from the crew is there is at least another full week of clearing work ahead, with spring pavement and guardrail repairs to follow.

From the west side, the crew has cleared both lanes to milepost 156, moving wet, heavy snow that’s 4 ½ ft. deep on the roadway. While that leaves only a few miles between the crews, the depth of the snow on the road means slow going. Additionally, there will need to be another round of avalanche control work as snow loads remain high in the avalanche paths.

The road remains closed at the Ross Dam Trailhead at milepost 134 on the west side and Silver Star gate at milepost 171 on the east. Crews work Monday through Thursday to clear the road, so please do not explore past the closure points during the work week. As always, if you plan to recreate behind the closure points, we strongly recommend that you consult the Northwest Avalanche Center for current backcountry avalanche conditions.

We’ll keep sharing updates to the 2022 spring clearing on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Safe travels and have a great weekend-
Lauren Loebsack, Communications 509-860-0000 (mobile)
North Central Region-Wenatchee

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allrider

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5/6/22 update: They might open it next week but the weather is not cooperating in terms of riding it on 2 wheels. I'm ready for some warm sunny dry roads. Had enough wet stuff for a while.

Hello fellow North Cascades enthusiasts!

Week six of the 2022 spring clearing brought us to that magic moment when the west side and east side crews met west of the Rainy Pass summit. The last few miles were some of the slowest going, with snow depths over 6 feet, making it necessary to use an excavator to knock down the snow from above before the blower could clear the roadway.

The crews also performed necessary pavement and guardrail repair, as well as another round of avalanche control. At the moment the pavement is clear and we are very close to opening.

But with up to 16 inches of snow forecast for the weekend, Mother Nature has decided once again to have the final say in the reopening schedule. Spring snow can often turn to rain, which could trigger wash outs and rockslides. If the weather remains cold, that could mean more avalanche control will be necessary before the road can be reopened to traffic.

For those adventurous cyclists: the pavement is clear and this would be the chance to ride without sharing the road with vehicle traffic. Be prepared for cold weather conditions, consult the Northwest Avalanche Center for current backcountry avalanche conditions, and know there is very little is any cell service through Rainy and Washington Passes.

Once our crew has had an opportunity early next week to clean up after weekend, they’ll set a reopening time and I’ll be sure to share that information as soon as I have it. Stay tuned for the final update of the 2022 spring clearing.

We’ll be sure to share more on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Safe travels and have a great weekend-

Lauren Loebsack, Communications 509-860-0000 (mobile)
North Central Region-Wenatchee

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dzane

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I'll be watching for the opening! It is a long day from here, but I'd love to do the opener from the east side! Meet you guys in the middle and do lunch in Winthrop!!
 

allrider

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The pass opens Tuesday 10am!!!
I'm concerned crossing the pass might be slick. We could go to the gate and find out from the DOT guys what the conditions are before venturing on. Anyone up for it?

The DOT announcement follows:

Hello fellow North Cascades enthusiasts,

Opening Day! The 2022 spring clearing is complete and the crew will open the gates on SR 20 North Cascades Highway this Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.

For those with plans to travel the North Cascades Highway in the near future, please keep in mind that many of the Forest Service and Parks Service facilities remain closed. Our crews clear the road and shoulder and any pullout areas needed for our maintenance work, but otherwise, it is still wintery up in the mountains and there are rest stops or services. Please plan accordingly.

The Northwest Avalanche Center wraps up avalanche forecasts every spring, but spring and early summer avalanche potential remains. Those venturing into the backcountry should be trained and prepared.

We’ll also share reopening day pictures on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Safe travels and have a good weekend-

Lauren Loebsack, Communications 509-860-0000 (mobile)
North Central Region-Wenatchee

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AdamK

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FYI - I read WASHDOT has chosen to do a LOT of construction on the NCH this summer rather than <some> over the next few years. They say there will be many one lane section with traffic lights all summer long.
 

AlexFi

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I was chilly 40F and light snowing at the pass this Saturday but once you are over the pass, the road was nice and twisty.
 

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