May 6, 2021

Washington State Department of Transportation

Update on SR 20 - North Cascades Highway

The North Cascades Highway is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, May 5 at 1 p.m.

By end of day Thursday, April 29, the east side and west side crews met, and the entire length of the highway is now cleared.  The next step in the reopening work includes repairs to damage caused by snow and debris through the avalanche pathways, such as sign, guardrail, and pavement repair.  Those interested in accessing area behind the closure points are advised to consult the Northwest Avalanche Center for current backcountry avalanche conditions.  Clearing work started at Early Winters gate on Monday, April 5 and typically takes 4 to 6 weeks.

The North Cascades Highway closed for the season on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 due to heavy snowfall and risk of avalanche. 

State Route 20 is the northernmost route across the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington and is commonly referred to as the North Cascades Highway. This scenic byway offers travelers a wide array of beautiful vistas and is part of the Cascade Loop, a 400-mile driving tour through the Cascades.

Why we close the highway in winter
We close the North Cascades when weather, snow conditions and avalanche danger threaten the safety of drivers and our maintenance crews. Avalanches typically close the highway between late November and mid December.

Reopening in the spring is usually accomplished by early May.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
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904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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