North Cascades Highway reopens, look out for maintenance

May 10, 2023, 10:51 AM | Updated: 11:08 am

(Photo from Flickr @EdSuominen)

(Photo from Flickr @EdSuominen)

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) just finished clearing the snow off the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) between Newhalem and the Methow Valley in Okanogan County, opening the highway for the first time since last November. The highway opened at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

It took over seven weeks to clear all the winter season snow off the North Cascades Highway and stabilize the common avalanche shoots. The cool and sometimes snowy April delayed the opening. Last year, the highway reopened in late April.

North Cascades Highway may open by Mother’s Day weekend

With the highway back open, motorists should be aware of ongoing roadwork given the limited time of year to complete needed maintenance.

The WSDOT noted, “Our crews clear the road and shoulder and any pullout areas needed for our maintenance work, but otherwise, it is still wintry up in the mountains, and there are few rest stops and no cell service. Please plan accordingly.”

Now you can drive across the North Cascades Highway as another alternate way to and from Eastern Washington.

A few years ago, the North Cascades Highway also joined the group of National Scenic Byways in the state. The other byways include the Chinook Scenic and White Pass Byways near Mount Rainier, the Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway, the Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway, and the Mountains to Sound Greenway along Interstate 90.

For more information about National Scenic Byways in Washington state and across the nation, visit the Federal Highway Administration website.

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North Cascades Highway reopens, look out for maintenance