North Cascades Highway

Crews work to clear the North Cascades Highway in April.

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — The gates on Highway 20 through the North Cascades will open at 1 p.m. Wednesday, the state Department of Transportation has announced.

Crews are currently finishing final repairs and avalanche control work before the gates east of Newhalem and west of Mazama will swing open, allowing travel between the Skagit and Methow valleys.

The process of clearing the 37 miles of snow-covered highway — which closes every winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanche danger — took about four weeks.

A year ago, the highway was reopened on May 12 while in 2019 the gates swung open April 18. The earliest opening was March 10, 2005.

Traditionally, people have gathered at the closure gates to be among the first to drive one of the state’s most scenic highways.

The Department of Transportation asks those planning to do so to follow safety guidelines, including wearing a mask when among those outside your immediate family, and avoiding gathering in large groups.

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181,, Twitter:@goskagit,

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