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Chinook Pass open for travel
Washington state Department of Transportation maintenance and avalanche crews opened state Route 410 over Chinook Pass Friday.
Chinook Pass is one of the state’s highest mountain passes, elevation 5,430 feet. Drivers should be aware that the potential for winter driving conditions still exists and to watch for rocks in the roadway. WSDOT crews will clear debris as needed.
Instead of a steady melt-down of the snow pack, the snow kept piling up. There was more than six feet of new snow in May. It finally stopped snowing May 20.
Chinook Pass has been closed since Dec. 15, 2008, from the intersection of SR 123 and SR 410, three miles west of the summit, to Morse Creek, 5.5 miles east of the summit. A five-mile stretch just east of the summit is located along the steep slope of an avalanche area, which makes it too dangerous to keep open during the snowy winter months.
Chinook Pass is designated as a National Scenic Byway, an All American Road, and an entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. Commercial vehicles are prohibited at all times. Mount Rainier National Park information can be found online at www.nps.gov/archive/mora/home.htm.
The earliest date Chinook Pass opened was April 5, 1973. The latest opening was July 12, 1974.