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 heavy snow and a forecast of more to come.
These routes closed temporarily Tuesday night, Nov. 10, due to deteriorating travel conditions and a 14-vehicle collision, which included commercial vehicles that are not allowed to travel through the park.
After an assessment of the roads and the upcoming forecast, Washington State Department of Transportation, in coordination with Mount Rainier National Park, made the decision to keep State Route 410/Chinook Pass and State Route 123/Cayuse Pass closed for the winter. For the safety of the crews, signs will be removed and facilities will be winterize before more heavy snowfall. Completing this work prevents sign damage and makes the spring reopening more manageable.
The roads inside the park typically close sometime in mid-November each year due to avalanche danger, poor road conditions, lack of emergency services in close proximity and limited snow storage.
Chinook Pass (elev. 5,430 feet) is closed between Crystal Mountain Boulevard, about 12 miles northwest of the summit, and Morse Creek, 5 miles east of the summit. Cayuse Pass (elev. 4,675 feet) is closed within the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park between Crystal Mountain Boulevard and the park arch at milepost 2.5 at the southern park boundary.
Tools to keep travelers connected
Sign up for email alerts via “Mount Rainier Area State Highway News” newsletter. Additional information about Chinook and Cayuse passes is available on a combined webpage that features the status of closure and reopening efforts. Current weather and highway conditions are posted on the mountain passes webpage.