Index-Galena Road, closed since 2006, had reopened Nov. 4. After just 33 days open, it will close until sometime in 2024 between the County Gate at milepost 10 and the Forest Service Gate at milepost 14.
The 4-mile section closed for the winter Thursday.
And like every year, passage on the Mountain Loop Highway will close between the Deer Creek Gate and the Bedal Gate. The closure is about 18 miles east of Verlot.
County officials announced the closures on the same day, pointing to snow and road conditions.
“With the potential for snow and ice in the coming weeks, it is both prudent and practical to close the roads now and maintain safety,” county Public Works Director Kelly Snyder said in a written statement.
The Mountain Loop Highway has a 14-mile gravel stretch east of Granite Falls and south of Darrington, The corridor is one of the few routes to Glacier Peak Wilderness and popular hikes near the Monte Cristo ghost town and the Big Four Ice Caves.
Each spring, the Public Works Road Maintenance Division works with the U.S. Forest Service to perform any road maintenance prior to Mountain Loop Highway reopening. The route reaches its peak popularity during the summer months, with up to 200 cars traveling each day on the weekends.
In 2006, a storm cut off Index from expanses of the Wild Sky Wilderness and other parts of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Reconstruction started in 2021, costing about $29 million. Most of the funding came from the Federal Highway Administration, with state and county contributions.
The winter weather closure is 4 miles east of the reconstruction zone. Now for the first time in 17 years, people can drive to some properties on the Index-Galena Road in the wintertime.
View the Snohomish County road closures webpage to get up-to-date information on closed county roads.