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Travel Alerts

Festival Traffic Alerts:

When planning your travels on the Cascade Loop, use this link from the Department of Transportation for travel impacts and anticipated wait times, especially during festival season!

Winter access of Closed Highway 20

Snowshoers, cross-country skiers, fat-tire bikers or snowmobilers can access the closed area throughout the winter. Parking is available near each closed gate. Anyone choosing to recreate in the backcountry should know the conditions including avalanche risks, watch the forecast and bring proper gear.

Highway history

WSDOT opened the final section of SR 20/North Cascades Highway in 1972. Each year crews close it to vehicles for the winter due to the snow in the 27 avalanche chutes that loom above the highway. That closure usually happens in November or December. However, in previous years the highway has closed as early as October. The latest closing was Jan. 3, 1990 and in 1976-77 the highway remained open all winter due to the lack of snow.

Spring 2019 reopening

Avalanche experts will assess conditions in early spring 2019. When it is determined to be safe, WSDOT will move snow blowers, plows, snow cats, graders and loaders to the area to start clearing snow, removing winter debris and replacing damaged guardrail and signs. That clearing process usually takes six to eight weeks.

With winter weather there will be an occasional accident, slow-down or closure. Please always check the WSDOT's Traffic Alerts page before you venture out.