Local Information

Chinook and Cayuse passes to reopen Thursday, May 23

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 14:52

Summer Derrey, WSDOT communications (Chinook Pass), 509-577-1943
Joseph Calabro, WSDOT communications (Cayuse Pass), 206-440-4452
Tracy Swartout, Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent, 360-569-6510

MOUNT RAINIER – State Route 410/Chinook Pass and State Route 123/Cayuse Pass through Mount Rainier National Park will reopen for the season by 8 a.m. Thursday, May 23, in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews are in the final stages of clearing both roadways. When the gates open, park visitors can travel SR 410/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. SR 123/Cayuse Pass (elev. 4,675 feet) will also open within the park boundaries between Stevens Canyon Road and the SR 410 junction.

Mount Rainier National Park
National park crews have been hard at work getting roads and services ready for visitors. The park’s Carbon River, Longmire, and Paradise areas are all open, as is the road from Packwood to the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead. The road to the White River Campground will reopen Thursday morning, May 23. Mount Rainer road access updates are provided on the park service website.

Winter closures
Cayuse and Chinook passes close each winter due to high avalanche risk, poor road conditions, lack of snow storage and no emergency response services within close proximity. Both highways closed to vehicle traffic for the season on Nov. 20, 2018. WSDOT and the National Park Service collaborate each spring to reopen the highways. This process has been a shared responsibility for decades. A history of Cayuse Pass and Chinook Pass opening and closing dates is available on the WSDOT website.

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