Spring Approaches

North Cascades National Park Snow Removal : WSDOT PhotoThere are signs of spring appearing in our National Parks. A week ago in Yellowstone, the first Grizzly Bear of the season was seen awake and out of its winter slumber. The bear was spotted eating from a Bison carcass.

Just to the south, in Grand Teton National Park, officials have started to clear the Teton Park Road of snow. The plowing began earlier this week. The road is first opened to bike and hiking traffic before it is opened to vehicle traffic on May 1st.

Meanwhile, nearly 4,500 miles away in Alaska, park officials in Denali National Park have the same idea. Beginning on March 19th, road crews will start the snow removal process from the Denali Park Road. The process involves clearing culverts of ice, and making repairs to the road from winter damage. Cars can expect to use the road again at the end of the month.

You may have to wait just a little longer though if you'd like to take a trip through the North Cascades National Park along highway 20. A year ago, after a very mild winter, the road over Washington Pass was opened for spring travel on March 8th, which set a record for earliest opening. This year is a little different. While plowing may begin as early as the 20th, crews have their work cut-out. Snow depth at the pass is still 7 1/2 feet deep. With luck, you may be able to drive the route sometime in mid-April.