SR 410/Chinook Pass and SR 123/Cayuse Pass close for the season

MOUNT RAINIER – The gates to State Routes 410 and 123 inside Mount Rainier National Park  including Chinook and Cayuse passes, are closed for the season after a foot of early season snow and a forecast of more snow and lower than average temperatures.

Chinook Pass (elevation 5,430 feet) and Cayuse Pass (elevation 4,675 feet) closed on Tuesday, Oct. 25, between Crystal Mountain Boulevard, about 12 miles northwest of the summit, and Morse Creek, 5 miles east of the summit. To the south, SR 123 is closed to Stevens Canyon Road.

These roads close for the winter season every year, typically sometime in mid-November, due to danger to road crews caused by avalanche danger, lack of emergency services in close proximity to the sites and limited snow storage. These risks also are why the early, heavy snow are closing the roads earlier than usual.

This is the earliest closure of Chinook Pass, tied with 2005, since the 1930s.

Typically SR 410 Chinook Pass and SR 123 Cayuse Pass reopen in late May, though that is dependent on snow melt and road conditions.

Current weather and highway conditions are posted on the WSDOT mountain passes webpage and through the WSDOT app.

Visit the Mount Rainier National Park’s road status webpage and follow @MountRainierNPS on Twitter for updates about roads within Mount Rainier National Park.

Traction tires are a special type of tire

manufactured with at least 1/8 of an inch tread. Traction tires are usually marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol, the letters M+S or “All Season.”

Carry chains, practice before leaving

Requiring chains keeps traffic moving during storms rather than closing a pass or roadway.

Prep your car. Fill up your gas tank,

pack jumper cables, ice scraper, warm clothing, snacks and water.