Passes near Mount Rainier to open Thursday

SEATTLE (AP) — Cayuse and Chinook passes near Mount Rainier will open Thursday in time for Memorial Day weekend.

KING-TV reports the Washington State Department of Transportation plans to reopen the roadways Thursday at 8 a.m. after their annual winter closures.

When they open, drivers can travel on State Route 410 over Chinook Pass between Crystal Mountain Boulevard and Morse Creek, as well as State Route 123 over Cayuse Pass between Stevens Canyon Road and the State Route 410 junction.

Officials say the passes close every fall because of avalanche danger, road conditions, and lack of snow storage.

Chinook and Cayuse passes typically close in mid-November, and the state tries to have them open by Memorial Day. However, in the past two years, the passes haven’t opened until June.