The North Cascades Highway reopened this morning (Aug. 19) at 10 a.m. The scenic mountain road, very popular with tourists in summer, had been closed since the evening of Aug. 10 because of eight mudslides that blocked it with mud, boulders and trees. A fierce rain and hail storm set off the slides.
The highway (also called Highway 20)connects Western Washington with the Methow Valley in north-central Washington. Along the way, it gives access to popular hiking routes, including the Pacific Crest Trail.
Businesses in Winthrop, the little Western-themed town that’s the Methow visitor hub, had suffered cancellations and a drop in business during the closure, even though the valley remained accessible by an alternate route.