VERLOT — Snohomish County reopened the Deer Creek gate this week, giving people access to the Big Four Ice Caves, Barlow Pass and other attractions along the Mountain Loop Highway.
Before opening the gate, public works crews had to clear snow and fallen trees along the Mountain Loop. Last year, conditions prevented the county from opening the Deer Creek gate until June, much later than normal.
For now, there’s still no through access all the way from Granite Falls to Darrington. People can drive up to the gate at Barlow Pass, but from there the road is closed due to snow. The U.S. Forest Service may decide to open that gate soon.
Before setting out, travelers are encouraged to make sure end destinations are open. Check with the U.S. Forest Service at www.fs.usda.gov/mbs or by calling 360-436-1155 or 360-691-7791. Another option is checking www.snoco.org, searching for “roads central” and looking up the Mountain Loop Highway under “current road and bridge projects.”