Chinook and Cayuse passes are officially closed for the season due to heavy snowfall and much more expected this week, the Washington Department of Transportation announced on Thursday.
State Routes 410 and 123 inside Mount Rainier National Park temporarily closed Tuesday. Poor travel conditions Tuesday night led to a 14-vehicle collision, including commercial vehicles illegally traveling through the park.
After looking at the roads and the forecast, WSDOT and national park officials decided to make the closure permanent. The National Weather Service forecast predicted 10 to 14 inches of snow at Chinook Pass on Thursday night with another 8 to 12 inches possible during the day on Friday.
Westbound traffic on State Route 410 will be stopped at Morse Creek, milepost 74.5, 5 miles east of the summit and the road is closed to eastbound traffic at Crystal Mountain Boulevard, milepost 57, 12 miles west of the summit. The department also closed Cayuse Pass, stopping traffic within the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park between Crystal Mountain Boulevard and the park arch at milepost 2.5.
The roads typically close in mid-
November and open again in May or June.