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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Category: highways
March 3, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Snow, snow and more snow in the mountains

Do you remember something about a shortage of snow in Washington’s mountains? Naw. Snow was coming down so fast on Snoqualmie Pass that Interstate 90 was closed in both directions Monday morning. (Get updates here.) Here are some Monday morning snow statistics for Cascade ski areas: Crystal Mountain: About 10 inches fell overnight in Campbell…

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0 Comments | More in highways, Northwest, Outdoors, road travel, snow sports | Topics: crystal mountain, I-90 closure, Mount Baker

February 18, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Road work to slow midweek visits to Mount Rainier for months

Planning a weekday snowshoeing expedition to avoid the crowds at Narada Falls? If a midweek trip to Mount Rainier is in your plans, you might want to go soon. After that, your drive could take a half-hour longer each way. Mount Rainier National Park officials announced Tuesday that rehabilitation of 17.6 miles of road between the…

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0 Comments | More in highways, national parks, Northwest, Parks | Topics: mount rainier, mount rainier national park, Paradise road

November 26, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Where are Puget Sounders driving for Thanksgiving? Here’s top 5 list (and when they’re going)

A milepost sign points to destinations around the world from Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, the destination topping the list in an AAA survey of Thanksgiving holiday trips for motorists in Western Washington. (photo by Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

A milepost sign points to destinations around the world from Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. Portland topped the list in an AAA survey of Thanksgiving holiday destinations for motorists in Western Washington. (photo by Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

AAA of Washington travel counselors report that top destinations for Western Washington motorists this Thanksgiving holiday — in addition to grandmother’s house — are:

  1. Portland
  2. Oregon Coast (including Cannon Beach, Lincoln City)
  3. Victoria, B.C.
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0 Comments | More in highways, Northwest, Washington state, weekend getaways | Topics: holiday destinations, holiday travel, Leavenworth

September 9, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Two Washington mountain highways still closed by slides

A big boulder came down onto the North Cascades Highway in slides last week after heavy rains.  The popular, and scenic, mountain highway remains closed around Rainy Pass. (WSDOT photo)

A big boulder came down onto the North Cascades Highway in slides last week after heavy rains. The popular, and scenic, mountain highway remains closed around Rainy  Pass as crews clear the road. (WSDOT photo)

Parts of the North Cascades Highway and State Route 410 ( in the southern Cascades) remain closed because of mudslides late last week that blocked the roads. And extensive roadwork on US 2 (Steven Pass highway), near Leavenworth, has closed part of that road through Friday  - although a detour is in place.  

The slides on the North Cascades and 410 highways followed heavy rains that unleashed torrents of mud and rocks.  The state Department of Transportation hopes to reopen the North Cascades Highway at noon on Thursday (Sept. 12); there’s no reopening time yet for SR 410; check here for updates.

The North Cascades Highway, which links

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0 Comments | More in highways, national parks, North Cascades, North Cascades Highway, State Route 410 | Topics: mudslides, Washington highway closures

September 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Two Washington passes and Icicle Road closed by mudslides

In the southern  Cascades, Highway 410 has been closed by mudslides, 8 feet deep in some spots. (WSDOT photo)

In the southern Cascades, the Chinook Pass Highway has been closed by mudslides, 8 feet deep in some spots, in Yakima County. (WSDOT photo)

Mudslides have closed Washington’s scenic North Cascades Highway once again.  And in the southern Cascades, State Route 410 — the Chinook Pass Highway — is also closed by slides,  with parts of it buried 8 feet deep in mud.

A slide has also closed a popular recreational route, Icicle Road, near Leavenworth.

On the North Cascades Highway, heavy rain touched off the slides in several locations, with rocks and mud covering the highway, the Department of Transportation said Friday. The road, also known as Highway 20, is closed between mileposts 147 (10 miles west of Rainy Pass) and 171 (9 miles east of Washington Pass).

Mudslides earlier closed the popular North Cascades Highway for more than a week in August. Now it will be closed through this weekend, and a reopening date

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0 Comments | Topics: highway closures, mountain passes, mudslides

August 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM

North Cascades Highway closed until at least Monday

Part of the North Cascades Highway vanishes under dirt and rocks, thanks to this mudslide - one of eight that closed the road on Aug. 10. (WSDOT photo)

Part of the North Cascades Highway vanished under dirt and rocks, thanks to this mudslide – one of eight that closed the road on Aug. 10. (WSDOT photo)

The North Cascades Highway is expected to remain closed at least until Monday (Aug. 19) as crews toil to clear landslides, forcing drivers  to take a longer route in and out of the Methow Valley.  And the highway closure is hitting tourism-dependent businesses hard as some visitors cancel trips.

The Washington State Department of Transportation had hoped to reopen the highway this weekend, but crews are dealing with  some boulders as big as passenger cars that have blocked the scenic mountain road, plus mounds of dirt and trees.

The highway closed last weekend after heavy rain and hail storms touched off eight mud slides that buried the road up to 25 feet deep in debris.

With more rain in the forecast this weekend for the area, it’s possible that more landslides

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0 Comments | Topics: Highway 20 closure, North Cascades slides

August 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

North Cascades Highway may reopen on weekend

Look -  no cars on the North Cascades HIghway, which is blocked by mudslides.  But a portion of the road from the Methow Valley  up to Washington Pass (which is by the Liberty Bell peaks in the background) remains open to bicyclists and drivers who want to get to trailheads. A portion of the road on the west side also is open.

Look – no cars on the North Cascades Highway, which is blocked by mudslides. But an eastside  portion of the road, from the Methow Valley up to Washington Pass (which is by the Liberty Bell peaks in the background),  remains open to bicyclists and to  drivers who want to get to trailheads. A portion of the road on the west side also remains open. (Chris Fox photo)

Crews are working long hours to clear mudslides on the North Cascades Highway, and it’s possible that the popular mountain road could reopen this weekend, says Department of Transportation spokesman Jeff Adamson. In the meantime,  some bicyclists are having a field day pedaling up and whizzing down part of the blissfully empty road that remains open.

 The road, also known as Highway 20, is a scenic and popular route that leads from Western Washington to  the Methow Valley. It was shut down  Saturday night because of mudslides touched off by an intense rain/hail storm. By Sunday, eight mud slides just west of Rainy Pass had buried

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0 Comments | More in highways, North Cascades | Topics: North Cascades, North Cascades Highway, North Cascades National Park

August 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

65 stranded by Cascade River Road washout in N. Cascades

The National Park Service supplied this low-resolution photo of the washout on Cascade River Road, the only photo immediately available.

The National Park Service supplied this low-resolution photo of the washout on Cascade River Road, the only photo immediately available.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms over the weekend took a double whammy at primary driving routes in the North Cascades, including a Sunday afternoon washout of the Cascade River Road, a key access to North Cascades National Park backcountry.

The washout, at Boston Creek, 1.5 miles below the popular Cascade Pass Trailhead, stranded 65 people in their cars overnight.

The same series of storms caused multiple landslides closing Highway 20 west of Rainy Pass (see story here).

National Park Service employees were at the Cascade River Road site Monday assisting stranded visitors, and a temporary one-lane road may be opened by day’s end to allow the 25 to 35 trapped vehicles to drive out, according to an email from Ken Hires, Stehekin District Interpreter for the park. Friends and family members of the stranded hikers have been

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0 Comments | More in highways, national parks, Northwest, Outdoors, Parks | Topics: Cascade Pass, Cascade River Road, North Cascades National Park

August 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM

North Cascades Highway could be closed for many days

There's a road under there somewhere: The North Cascades Highway is closed near Rainy Pass after mudslides buried the road in dirt and rocks. (WSDOT photo)

There’s a road under there somewhere: The North Cascades Highway is closed near Rainy Pass after mudslides buried the road deep in dirt and rocks. (WSDOT photo)

Washington’s  North Cascades Highway could be closed for many days after eight mudslides on the weekend buried parts of the road 25 feet deep in dirt and rocks. 

Also called Highway 20, the mountain road is a  scenic and quicker route from Western Washington to the Methow Valley on the east side of the Cascades.  In summer, it’s a very popular route among vacationers, hikers, climbers and long-distance bicyclists, giving  dramatic views of peaks and back-country access.

 The slides hit a six-mile stretch of road just west of Rainy Pass, said

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0 Comments | More in highways, Northwest | Topics: Highway 20 closure, mudslides, North Cascades Highway