MOUNT RAINIER – Chinook and Cayuse passes in Mount Rainier National Park are now closed for the season. Crews temporarily closed the passes on Nov. 23 in advance of a snowstorm and after several feet of snow fell, crews have determined to keep it closed for the season.
The Washington State Department of Transportation determined heavy snow fall, coupled with compact snow and ice create unsafe driving conditions through these scenic routes. Limited access by emergency service responders and spotty cell phone reception also increases the risk for drivers to safely cross State Route 410/Chinook Pass and State Route 123/Cayuse Pass.
WSDOT closed Chinook Pass (elev. 5,430 feet) between Crystal Mountain Boulevard, about 12 miles northwest of the summit, and Morse Creek, five miles east of the summit. Cayuse Pass (elev. 4,675 feet) is also closed within Mount Rainier National Park from Crystal Mountain Boulevard to Stevens Canyon Road.
WSDOT typically closes these mountain passes in late November each year due to hazardous driving conditions.
New tool to keep travelers connected
Drivers can now sign up for email alerts for US 12/White Pass, SR 410/Chinook Pass and SR 123/Cayuse Pass. After entering their email address, subscribers should check the box for “Mount Rainier Area State Highway News” under the “News and information” section of the page.
Additional information for Chinook and Cayuse passes are available on a combined web page that features the status of reopening and closing efforts. Current weather and highway conditions are posted to the mountain passes web page.