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Break Out the S'mores, North Cascades Roads Update

Posted by Loren D at Aug 16, 2013 06:05 PM |

The campfire ban on state lands is lifted west of the crest, but you'll have to celebrate National S'mores Day over a backpacking stove in most of the state. A section of the North Cascades Highway (Hwy 20) remains closed as crews work to clear massive mudslides. Cascade River Road closed to cars, open to foot traffic.

Campfire ban lifted on western state lands

Yesterday, the campfire ban on state lands was lifted for areas west of the Cascade crest. That applies to State Parks and Department of Natural Resources lands in the western part of the state.

Since Tuesday was National S'mores Day, the timing is perfect for a s'mores cook-off. If you're in the high country or in the eastern part of the state, though, you'll still need to eat your s'mores raw or cook them over a backpacking stove. (Either way, we'd love for you to share your photos or video with us in a Trip Report.)

The ban, which includes fires in campgrounds and grilling with briquettes, remains in place in Eastern Washington. And with fire danger still present around the state, it's essential to practice campfire and backcountry fire safety.

Crews work to clear North Cascades Hwy, but not before weekend

Road crews have been hard at work on repairs to two very popular North Cascades roads that washed out after thunderstorms with intense rains last weekend. Here's what you need to know before the weekend:

Crews with the Washington Department of Transportation have been working daylight hours to clear 8 mudslides totaling 30,000 cubic yards of mud and debris on from Highway 20, the major east-west route through North Cascades National Park. They've made tremendous progress, but the road won't be open this weekend.

"Travelers should make plans to take an alternate route," advises Jeff Adamson from Washington State Department of Transportation.

Once the mud and debris are cleared, Adamson says, the WSDOT team will still need to fix a guardrail, complete some drainage and ditching work and repair some pavement damage before the road can open to traffic. More rain has also hampered the effort, though it hasn't caused any new slides yet.

The road is closed from the winter gate east of Diablo at milepost 147 to milepost 157 east of Rainy Pass.

Cascade River Road open

On the Cascade River Road, road crews and rangers coordinated to build a temporary one-lane road across the washout in record time to evacuate 65 hikers and their stranded vehicles.

While the road remains closed to vehicles at milepost 20 (the Eldorado Creek parking area, 3 miles before the road's end), foot traffic is allowed past the closure point to the popular Cascade Pass Trailhead and Boston Basin access point.

Update: Aug. 21, 2013