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Massive mud slide closes SR 20; strands hikers

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SEATTLE — A series of mud and rock slides closed State Route 20 between Mile Post 147 and 157 at Rainy Pass and the Chelan County Line late Sunday.

Washington State Department of Transportation crews were on the scene Monday and estimated that additional resources are needed to completely clear the roadway. SR 20  will remain closed indefinitely due to incoming storms and multiple slides in the area, WSDOT said. No one was injured in the washout.

The slide trapped as many as 70 hikers overnight in North Cascades National Park, the National Park Service said. Most of the hikers were hiking near the Cascade Pass Trailhead Sunday, and blocked after a road washed out. Helicopters brought the hikers food and water Sunday night, the Seattle Times reported, as maintenance workers filled in the roadway with gravel. Most of the hikers were able to drive out of the area late Monday.

One hiker commented that she was, “surprised at how soon she was able to drive out of the trail head given the huge size of the wash-out,” the National Park Service said in a release.

Highway 20 is the northernmost route across the Cascade Mountain Range, and is part of the 400-mile driving loop. The road washed out in 2006 and 2009, the Times reported. The slides are ongoing, making it hard for workers and engineers to plan for repair.

The rain event washed the road away within 1 1/2 miles of the trail head, described as one of the more popular destination hikes in the North Cascades National Park.

For updates, visit WSDOT’s website.

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2 comments

  • Guest

    Hikers become stranded by a mud slide over the roadway?
    They must be hardcore.
    Keep your hands on your cell phones in case you come up against a branch fallen across the groomed trail!
    Taxpayers foot the bill for idiot adventures again.