Three mountain passes close for the season

OLYMPIA -- Three mountain passes have closed for the season as winter seemed to kick into high gear this weekend with snow falling in the mountains.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced the closure of Chinook Pass, Cayuse Pass and State Route 20 Monday morning.

The WSDOT has determined the avalanche risk is too great to allow traffic to safely cross the passes.

Chinook Pass, with an elevation of 5,430 feet, is closed from Crystal Mountain Boulevard, about 12 miles northwest of the summit to Morse Creek, five miles east of the summit.

Cayuse Pass, elevation 4,675 feet, is closed within Mount Rainier National Park from Crystal Mountain Boulevard to Stevens Canyon Road.

The North Cascades Highway is closed for about a 37-mile stretch from Milepost 134, the Diablo Gate, to Milepost 171 at the Silver Star Gate.

The passes close every year and reopen at different times in the spring.

For more on the closures, click here.