Chinook and Cayuse passes to reopen Friday, May 28

Plus, news about clearing snow around Mount Rainier National Park.

The following is a press release from the Washington State Department of Transportation:

State Route 410/Chinook Pass and State Route 123/Cayuse Pass through Mount Rainier National Park will reopen for the season by 8 a.m. Friday, May 28, in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews are in the final stages of clearing both roadways. When the gates open, park visitors can travel SR 410/Chinook Pass (elev. 5,430 feet) between Crystal Mountain Boulevard, about 12 miles northwest of the summit, and Morse Creek, five miles east of the summit. SR 123/Cayuse Pass (elev. 4,675 feet) will also open within the park boundaries between Stevens Canyon Road and the SR 410 junction.


National park crews have been hard at work clearing a robust winter snowpack. The park’s Carbon River, Longmire, and Paradise areas are all open, as is the road from Packwood to the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead. Visitors should expect delays of up to 20 minutes along SR 123 due to ongoing paving work. The entrance to the Ohanapecosh Campground will reopen on Saturday, May 29. The road to Sunrise is estimated to reopen July 2. Mount Rainer National Park road access updates are provided on the park’s website.


Cayuse and Chinook passes close each winter due to high avalanche risk, poor road conditions, lack of snow storage and no emergency response services within close proximity. Both highways closed to vehicle traffic for the season on Nov. 12, 2020. WSDOT and the National Park Service collaborate each spring to reopen the highways. This process has been a shared responsibility for decades. A history of Cayuse Pass and Chinook Pass opening and closing dates is available on the WSDOT website.