Mountain passes closed in Washington due to snowstorms

Snowstorms have been slamming the Pacific Northwest most of the week, dumping up to 3 feet in some spots from Tuesday through Thursday alone.

Blizzard conditions have made travel difficult to impossible at times. It got so bad that plow crews in the Cascades of western Washington couldn’t keep up with the storms. So the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) decided to hold off clearing certain roads, closing them due to continued hazardous conditions and the amount of work needed to safely reopen them.


Snoqualmie Pass: Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass will likely remain closed until Sunday. The highway remains closed from North Bend at milepost 34 to Ellensburg at milepost 106.

Stevens Pass: U.S. Highway 2 is closed from milepost 58 at Scenic, over Stevens Pass, to milepost 99 at the west end of Leavenworth due to heavy snow accumulation and extreme avalanche danger. There is no detour available and Stevens Pass will likely remain closed until Sunday.

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White Pass: U.S. Highway 12 over White Pass will likely remain closed until Sunday. The road remains closed from Packwood at milepost 135 to Oak Creek at milepost 183. Local traffic from the eastside is allowed up to the Lower Tieton Road at milepost 168.

Blewett Pass: U.S. Highway 97 is closed in both directions from milepost 149.7, at the junction with state route 970 and approximately 10 miles east of Cle Elum, over Blewett Pass to milepost 178, 14 miles north of the summit, due to heavy snow and multiple snowslides. There is no detour available and Blewett Pass will likely remain closed until Sunday.


Snow was still falling Friday morning and the National Weather Service has a winter storm warning in place for the Cascades of western Washington. The warning is set to expire at 4 p.m. PT Friday.

Snoqualmie and Stevens passes, as well as Mazama, Loup Loup Pass, Holden Village and Mount St. Helens, could see another 12 inches of snow with wind gusts of 40 to 55 mph. Look for more blowing snow and possible whiteout conditions.

SONAR Critical Events and radar, Jan. 7, 2022, 8 a.m. ET.

Heavy snow Friday may also continue in parts of the northern Rockies of Idaho and Montana, as well as the Cascades of western Oregon.

Meanwhile, heavy rain will keep drenching some areas from Interstate 5 to the Pacific Coast.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 90 from Seattle to Helena, Montana.
• Interstate 5 from Seattle to Redding, California.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Editor: Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist