If you like to hike, ski or snowshoe the western portion of the gated North Cascades Highway (SR 20) during its winter traffic closure, here’s discouraging news from North Cascades National Park, as of Friday morning:
State Route 20 beyond the closed vehicle gate at Ross Dam Trailhead (MP 134) is temporarily closed to foot traffic and recreational activities. Heavy rains caused rock slides that are now blocking the road. Boulders, debris, and hazard trees will be removed from the road bed and loose debris removed or stabilized by contractors for Washington Department of Transportation. Heavy equipment will be used throughout the project, including dump trucks with trailers and tree felling equipment. Work will occur 7 days per week to minimize the amount of time the road is closed to recreational activities. The project is expected to be complete by mid- to late February.
The highest portion of the cross-state highway is typically closed to vehicle traffic each year from about December to May because of heavy snows.