Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Chinook, Cayuse passes both closed for winter

November 9, 2009, 8:37 am

Chinook and Cayuse passes are officially closed for the season.

State transportation officials decided to close the passes after reviewing a snowy forecast and assessing the risk of an avalanche, according to a DOT news release.

Crews closed Chinook Pass after assessing the stability of the hillside and determining the avalanche risk is too great. Since Friday, Chinook has received more than 3 feet of snow.

The pass is closed from the gates of Morse Creek — 5 miles east of the summit — and at Crystal Mountain Boulevard — 8 miles northwest of the summit.

Access to the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort from State Route 410 remains open.

Additionally, transportation officials and Mount Rainier National Park staff agreed to close State Route 123, or Cayuse Pass, for the season. The road is closed within Mount Rainier National Park from the 4,675-foot Cayuse Pass summit at the junction of SR-410 and SR-123 to Steven’s Canyon Road.