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Topic: Cascade River Road closure

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August 14, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Cascade Pass Trail open, but expect damage throughout national park

After the washout, before the fix: A visitor walks among damage where Boston Creek washed out Cascade River Road after a Sunday storm. (National Park Service photo)

After the washout, before the fix: A visitor walks among damage where Boston Creek washed out Cascade River Road after a Sunday storm. (National Park Service photo)

The Cascade Pass Trail in North Cascades National Park remains open despite a weekend road washout, but storm damage to that trail and others in the region remains under assessment by wilderness rangers. Hikers should be prepared for difficult going in places.

For access to Cascade Pass, one of the most popular hikes in the park, hikers must trek an added three miles from a closure point at Milepost 20 on the Cascade River Road, which was washed out by a flood of water and logs during a Sunday evening storm. The Cascade Pass Trail leads to Sahale Arm, Sahale Glacier and Stehekin backcountry such as Horseshoe Basin.

After being trapped behind a road washout overnight, hikers drive out Monday afternoon over a temporary roadway built by National Park Service workers. (National Park Service photo)

After being trapped behind a road washout overnight, hikers drive out Monday afternoon over a temporary roadway built by National Park Service workers. (National Park Service photo)

The washout created a chasm 60 feet wide and 15 feet deep where Boston Creek crosses the gravel road, preventing 70 hikers and their vehicles from exiting the area overnight and through most of Monday. They were able to drive out late Monday afternoon after National Park Service employees built a temporary gravel driving path. The temporary path is not considered reliable for use by other motorists, however.

Hikers are being allowed to park at the Eldorado Creek parking area and walk over the temporary path, said Rick Acosta, information officer for the national park. A park service engineer is evaluating a permanent fix, but it’s too soon to guess how long the road closure might last, Acosta said. No other repair work is going on yet, he said.

The Sunday storms and others over the weekend likely caused other damage in the park that hasn’t all been reported or evaluated. One of the trapped hikers, Victoria Jurgens, reported of her Sunday hike back to the Cascade Pass Trailhead: “The water was running down the trail so hard that it was sloshing up over the tops of my boots! It was pretty wild…We encountered

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