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Cayuse Pass

Map of Cayuse Pass location

Cayuse Pass clearing
April 2014.

  • WSDOT employee safe after natural avalanche buries equipment during clearing efforts on Chinook Pass.
  • Get updates on the clearing process of SR 410/Chinook Pass.
  • See photos of the 2014 spring snow clearing work.
  • Watch a dashboard-view video from a WSDOT plow truck working on Cayuse and Chinook passes prior to the highway closure.

Last updated: Oct. 18, 2016 

  • DRIVER ALERT: Rockfall mitigation continues on SR 123 until Thursday, Nov. 3. Drivers should expect delays of up to 20 minutes during working hours. You can find more details on this website.
  • Crews opened Cayuse Pass around 3:15 p.m. Thursday, April 28. Read more in our news release.
  • Cayuse Pass and Chinook Pass closed Nov. 16, 2015. It was decided on Nov. 24 to keep the passes closed for the season due to snow, ice and avalanche hazards. Read more in our news release.
  • Check out previous closing and reopening dates.
  • View photos of the 2016 spring reopening effort.

    About Cayuse Pass:
    Cayuse Pass connects to Chinook Pass and White Pass on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park. The Cayuse Pass summit is at the junction of state routes 123 and 410. The 4,675-foot-high pass is about five miles west of the Chinook Pass summit.

    Why does WSDOT close Cayuse Pass for the winter?
    WSDOT closes the pass due to high avalanche risk. Cayuse Pass has numerous slide areas that pose significant danger to travelers, WSDOT maintenance crews and park staff.

    What are the usual opening and closing dates?
    In an average year, Cayuse Pass closes in November and reopens in April. The pass did not close over the 1976-77 winter. View a table of closing and opening dates since the 1973-74 winter.

    What are the closure points?
    Crews close the gates in the north on SR 410 just south of Crystal Mountain Boulevard and in the south on SR 123 at the Mount Rainier National Park entrance. The closure affects eight miles of SR 410 and nearly 14 miles of SR 123.

    Wasn't there once a ski area at Cayuse Pass?
    Yes, the ski area operated from 1946 to 1959.

    How can I get information on other mountain passes?
    Mountain pass info is available on WSDOT's Web site or by calling the 5-1-1 travel information system.

    How can I get more information?
    Harmony Weinberg
    WSDOT Communications
    P.O. Box 330310
    Seattle, WA 98133
    Phone: 206.440.4473