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January 16, 2015 at 9:45 AM

Recreation prohibited as rock slides block gated North Cascades Highway

Here's the kind of snow the North Cascades Highway can get in a normal snow year, during its winter closure. The western portion of the gated highway is closed to recreation for several weeks because of rockslides. (AP photo, 20-08)

Here’s the kind of snow the North Cascades Highway can get in a normal snow year during its winter closure. The western portion of the gated highway is closed to recreation for several weeks because of rock slides. (AP photo, 2008)

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.

Comments | More in North Cascades, North Cascades Highway, North Cascades National Park | Topics: Highway 20 rock slides, North Cascades Highway closure, North Cascades Highway rock slides

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