North Cascades Highway 20 has closed for the winter following heavy snowfall and avalanches on Nov. 19.
The State Dept. of Transportation hoped to reopen Washington’s northernmost cross-state route, but approaching storms laden with heavy precipitation made that futile.
WSDOT records show that a Nov. 19 closure is fairly typical. Some extremes: During the winter of 2004-2005, Highway 20 was closed less than three months, from Dec. 13 until March 10. The earliest closure came Oct. 17, 2003, and the latest opening occurred June 14, 1974. Old-timers can recall the highway’s mildest winter: In 1977, it never closed. Read the closure history on WSDOT’s website.