The North Cascades Highway, which partially closed last Thursday due to avalanche danger, will remain closed for the remainder of winter, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.
Thirty inches of snow over the weekend guaranteed the closure of State Route 20 between Ross Lake Dam trailhead (milepost 134) and Early Winters gate (milepost 178).
Although immediate avalanche danger is now low, conditions are likely to change, and WSDOT said it would be focusing its crews on clearing communities east of the mountain passes that received up to 2 feet of snow.
WSDOT built a snow berm at milepost 178 and will clear routes on the east side of passes. The road may be reopened to Silver Star gate for snow park access before the holidays, depending on conditions, WSDOT said.
WSDOT typically assesses spring clearing work in March, with some reopenings as late as June.