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August Mountain Loop Road Closures

Posted by Susan Elderkin at Jul 28, 2010 10:55 AM |
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If you're planning a hike along the Mountain Loop Highway in August, you'll want to consult this guide to closures along the highway.

If you're planning a hike along the Mountain Loop Highway in August, you'll want to consult this guide to revolving closures along the highway.

Throughout the month, the road will be closed Monday through Thursday south of Darrington at various places for culvert replacement. On these days you will NOT be able to drive the Loop. And on some of these days, you may not be able to access your desired trailhead.

I've spent some time trying to decode the mileposts for you. For reference, Barlow Pass is at MP 30.7 (south of the closures), Sloan Creek Road, FR 49, (just north of Bedal Campground) is at 37.6, and FR 2095 (the road to the Mt. Pugh trailhead) is at MP 41.2.

Here is the closure schedule for the first part of August, which will most disrupt hiker plans:

  • Aug. 2-3 at MP 39.5 - Access everything from Bedal Campground and south, from the lower loop of the Mountain Loop Highway.
  • Aug. 4-5 at MPs 34.7, 37.8 and 42.5 - These are the worst days, and trails such as Mt. Pugh, North Fork Sauk, Round Lake, Bedal Basin, Sloan Peak and Pilot Ridge will not be accessible at all. Goat Lake, in case you're wondering, is south of this closure.
  • Aug. 9-10 at MP 35.2-36.85 - No access to the Bedal Basin trail. All trails north of Bedal Campground and FR 49 should be accessed from Darrington.
The second half of August is a bit less disruptive. Construction will occur north of north of Bedal Campground/FR 49 and south of the Mt. Pugh trailhead/FR 2095. Hikers will need to access Mt. Pugh via Darrington, and the rest of the hikes mentioned above via Verlot and the lower loop of highway.

Here's that schedule:

  • Aug. 11-12 at MP 38.6
  • Aug. 16-17 at MP 39.7
  • Aug. 18-19 at MP 40.4
  • Aug.  23-26 at MP 38.25 - 38.00
  • Aug.  30-Sept 1 at MP 39.00

I suggest that if mid-week hikes to any of these locations are in your plans that you contact the Darrington Ranger District (360.436.1155). It is quite possible that this construction schedule could change or shift. It would be a shame to drive all that way and not reach your hike, or even worse, get stranded on August 4th or 5th!