North Cascades Highway closing Wednesday for winter season

North Cascades Highway closing Wednesday for winter season
The last sunrise over the North Cascades Highway before it closes for the winter season. 

More snow is set to move into the region this week and that means it is time to close the North Cascades Highway for the season.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said the highway gates will close to traffic at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

This is the latest the highway has closed since 2008. That year, the pass remained open until Dec. 15.

The highway is the northernmost route across the Cascade Mountain Range. It is a 37-mile stretch along Highway 20 between Diablo and west of Mazama.

The elevation of Rainy Pass is 4,855 feet and Washington Pass is 5,477 feet. The high elevation makes for dangerous winter driving conditions, therefore, prompting the seasonal closure.

The highway typically reopens in April. In the meantime, travelers can take US 2, US 12 or I-90 to get across the state.

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