North Cascades Highway may open by Mother’s Day weekend

May 4, 2023, 12:37 PM | Updated: 12:57 pm

North Cascades Highway...

Heavy snow in the Cascades created difficult driving conditions. (WSDOT Photo)

(WSDOT Photo)

The North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) over Washington Pass may open as soon as Mother’s Day weekend, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation(WSDOT).

SR-20 is the state’s longest highway running 436 miles. It crosses Washington Pass at 5,477 feet and Rainy Pass at 4,875 feet in the North Cascades. It begins at US 101 at Discovery Bay on the Olympic Peninsula to US 2 near the Idaho state border in Newport. Rainy Pass is about four miles to the west of Washington Pass.

The passes are typically closed between November and April due to heavy snowfall.

NB SR-99 ramp closed on West Seattle Bridge due to hole

During winter months, weather is usually cloudy, but due to high-pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean that intensify during summer months, there is often little or no cloud cover during the summer.

The North Cascades Highway east of Washington Pass has the distinction of being among the top areas in the United States for most avalanche paths per mile of highway.

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North Cascades Highway may open by Mother’s Day weekend