Two state passes near Mount Rainier National Park are expected to open soon, giving people more Memorial Day weekend options.
Cayuse Pass, a scenic route on state Route 123, is to open May 19.
Chinook Pass on state Route 410 doesn’t have an opening date but it’s expected to be before the holiday weekend, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Both highways closed Nov. 23 for the winter season because of poor road conditions and the risk of avalanches.
Never miss a local story.
Crews began clearing snow March 1.
Snow on state Route 410 from Crystal Mountain Boulevard and Cayuse Pass has been cleared, as well as from state Route 123 from Cayuse Pass to the park’s southeastern entrance near Stevens Canyon Road.
The Transportation Department still needs to repair and pave part of state Route 123, install road signs and clear debris before the passes will be considered safe for traffic.
On Friday, state Route 123 will open at the park entrance north of Packwood as far as Stevens Canyon Road. Stevens Canyon Road will reopen from state Route 123 to the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead.
The rest of Stevens Canyon Road is to reopen later this month.
White River Road and Sunrise Park Road are still closed. They should reopen by early July.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
By the numbers:
30 - How many miles of snow maintenance crews clear on both passes.
3,000 - The number of hours crews spend each year clearing the passes during a four-to-six week period.
2 billion - How many cubic yards of snow must be removed to open Chinook and Cayuse passes.
1,600 - How many pounds of explosives used to knock down snow during avalanche control.