December 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM
New snow, and avalanches, have prompted the closure of the North Cascades Highway for the season. Washington’s Department of Transportation announced the closure this morning.
The scenic mountain highway in northern Washington closes each winter. This is one of the later closings; last year it closed Nov. 20 and reopened April 16.
Get more information at the highway website.
October 9, 2013 at 11:17 AM
With October sunshine and chilly nights turning leaves to gold and scarlet, are you ready for an eye-popping fall-color road trip combined with some fun natural-history education? Follow the morning sun to Republic in Eastern Washington now through Monday for celebration of National Fossil Day.
Fossil Day is being celebrated with a long weekend of events around Republic’s renowned Stonerose Interpretive Center, dedicated to the study and preservation of fossils from the Eocene Epoch, some 50 million years ago, when the area was covered by a great lake.
Lake-bottom sediment turned to shale that has preserved leaves, twigs, insects and fish from the era. Besides taking in the best fossil displays at the center, visitors can pay a $5-$8 fee to visit the nearby fossil site and excavate on their own (hammers and chisels available for rent, $5). You’re allowed to take home up to three finds per day if they are not deemed of scientific value or significant to the Stonerose collection.
The Fossil Day celebration will include (more…)
October 1, 2013 at 4:05 PM
With national parks now closed because of the government shutdown, some of Washington state’s most popular scenic drives and outdoor recreation areas are off-limits to the public. And for communities around the parks it’s an economic body-blow with hotels, restaurants, shops and tour companies losing business.
“Our fall shoulder season is huge – usually,” said Mary Brelsford of the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau. And in Mount Rainier National Park alone, there (more…)
September 9, 2013 at 3:05 PM
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 (more…)
September 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM
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 (more…)
August 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM
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.
August 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM
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 (more…)
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