The Granite Falls Bridge on the Mountain Loop Highway. (Snohomish County)

The Granite Falls Bridge on the Mountain Loop Highway. (Snohomish County)

Mountain Loop Highway to close Wednesday

The popular road east of Granite Falls and south of Darrington is blocked off each year in line with winter weather.

GRANITE FALLS — Effective Wednesday, the Mountain Loop Highway will be closed between the Deer Creek gate and Bedal gate through the winter.

County officials announced the planned closure Monday, pointing to a changing weather forecast predicting snow in the North Cascades.

“Snohomish County Public Works has worked in concert with the U.S. Forest Service, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and many of the surrounding towns to make sure this is the right time to close the highway,” Snohomish County Public Works Director Kelly Snyder said. “This closure, prior to the predicted storms and potential snow and ice events in the coming weeks, is both prudent and practical. Our number one priority is to keep everyone safe.”

The 14-mile gravel stretch is closed every year when snow hampers road conditions. It is reopened each spring. Public Works coordinates with the U.S. Forest Service to perform any necessary maintenance on the road.

The Mountain Loop leads to trailheads for some of Snohomish County’s most popular hikes.

Visit the Snohomish County road closures web page for an up-to-date list in the county.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; ellen.dennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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