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Wash Pass Road Opening?


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I was wondering if anyone knows anything about Wash. Pass road opening this year? I haven't heard anything.

I know that it usually opens in late April or May...correct?

Sorry if this topic has recently been posted.

Any beta is appreciated!!!

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Thanks for the link. Very cool page with great info to keep tabs on the progress.

This was taken from the page:

"Washington Pass" North Cascades Highwaycreated 03/24/2002

Assessment of SR 20 in the North CascadesOKANOGAN – The North Central Region WSDOT Avalanche Control team traveled in a snow cat over SR 20 for an initial snow and safety assessment evaluation on Monday, February 25. They found the avalanche chutes still very active, so it will be mid to late March before it will be safe to move crews and equipment to begin preparing for the spring opening. The crew estimated that once they start the effort, it may take several weeks to open the highway due to the large amount of snow that has accumulated.

Last year’s drought and very low snow pack allowed the highway to re-open earlier than ever before, on March 22. The latest opening date was recorded in 1974 when it wasn’t re-opened until June 14. Only once since the highway opened to traffic in 1973 has it remained open through the entire winter, in 1976-77, during a drought. Typically, the re-opening date of the North Cascades has fallen between late April and mid May.

The North Central Region Avalanche team found snow depths on the highway below the Liberty Bell avalanche chutes near the Washington Pass summit ranged from 25 to nearly 50 feet this year compared with the 12 to 36 feet on the road last year. Snow depths through the Cutthroat Ridge avalanche zone ranged from 8 to 33 feet this year compared to the 4 to 11 feet on the road last year. The snow volume is much higher than a year ago. At Cutthroat #11, the snow at the foot of the avalanche chute is only a couple feet higher than last year, but while the accumulation was only ten feet wide last spring, it was 95 feet wide this spring. Surprisingly, the snow at the top of Washington (5,477’ wink.gif" border="0 and Rainy (4,855’ wink.gif" border="0 passes was only about 10 feet deep compared with 8 feet recorded during last year’s assessment.

A snow pit was excavated near the summit of Washington Pass. The overall snow pack shows to be stable as of now, however rapid prolonged warming could hamper the stability of the pack. There are several snow pockets that have not released as of yet. These areas might release before opening commences, if not they will have to be watched carefully.

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Pass is open. I posted this info on another thread:


North Cascades Hwy opened on Tuesday morning (5/7). Came over that way from the dry side tonight (5/9). Not as much snow up there as I expected. Aside from places where there is 30-40 foot deep road cuts through avy debris, there's maybe 6-7 feet max snowpack along the highway at Rainy and Washington passes. Liberty Bell, the Spires, etc. were heavily plastered with snow.


Some joker has been messing with the signs along the highway, taping out key letters. For example, you can now visit "Easy ass Trailhead" or stay at "Colon Creek Campground.

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