By Jessi Loerch
Work is planned on the Cascade River Road to make extensive repairs. The road has been washed out many times, including a washout last year that stranded people overnight.
The road offers access to Cascade Pass, Horseshow Basina and Sahale Arm trails and is also a popular climbing area.
Here is a press release with details from North Cascades National Park:
The last three miles of the Cascade River Road will be closed to all vehicle and foot traffic September 8 through late October, 2014. The road closure will begin at the Eldorado parking area near milepost 20 and will affect hikers and climbers approaching the area from either the east or west side. Access for those wishing to climb Eldorado Peak and other peaks accessed via Eldorado Creek will not be affected.
The closure will allow crews to make extensive repairs to the road, which has been subject to multiple washouts over the years. Heavy equipment and large dump trucks will be in operation during the closure and will work as quickly and efficiently as possible to make the necessary repairs.
A sixty-foot long concrete “box culvert” with a debris rack will be installed at the site of Boston Creek, a common wash-out area. The National Park Service will be working with the Federal Highway Administration to make the repairs. The road blew out at Boston Creek in 2009 and again in August 2013, when a washout left over 70 visitors temporarily stranded.
The Cascade River Road provides access to the very popular Cascade Pass, Horseshoe Basin, and Sahale Arm Trails, as well as being a scenic route for visitors hiking across the park to Stehekin. Boston Basin is a popular climbing area, with access to Forbidden, Sahale and Sharkfin peaks, among others. This temporary road closure will ensure continued access to these areas in the future, with less potential for road failure.
For assistance with trip planning, suggestions for alternative autumn hikes or climbs, or to learn about alternate hiking routes to Stehekin, please contact the Wilderness Information Center at 360-854-7245, open daily through October 12, 2014.