View a map of Chinook Pass
April 30, 2014: Avalanche crew member prepares for avalanche control work above Chinook Pass.
Chinook Pass is located on SR 410 between the towns of Enumclaw and Naches. The 5,430-foot-high pass is about five miles east of the Cayuse Pass summit. Chinook Pass provides the east entrance to Mount Rainier National Park.
SR 410 through Chinook Pass has been designated by the U.S. government as the Chinook Scenic Byway.
Why does WSDOT close Chinook Pass for the winter?
WSDOT closes Chinook Pass for the winter due to high avalanche risk and hazardous driving conditions.
Although businesses and recreationalists depend on Chinook Pass, WSDOT can only keep the highway open as long as it is free of avalanche risk and other weather-related hazards.
The combination of avalanche danger, mountainous terrain, lack of cell phone service, inclement weather and relatively few vehicles on the roads make driving these passes in the winter a potentially hazardous endeavor. If someone had a problem, such as sliding off the road, it could take hours or days for anyone to find them.
What are the usual opening and closing dates?
In an average year, Chinook Pass closes in November and reopens in May.
What are the closure points?
Chinook Pass closes from Morse Creek (five miles east of the summit) to Cayuse Pass. When closed, the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort can be accessed from the west side (Seattle), but cannot be accessed from the east closure point on SR 410.
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?