Local Information

SR 504 Spirit Lake Memorial Highway to remain closed

Friday, May 8, 2020 - 12:15

Kathryn Garcia-Stackpole, communications, 360-905-2058 

Seasonal reopening delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic 

TOUTLE – Each spring, the gates on State Route 504 near Coldwater Lake usually swing open to allow travelers onto the upper reaches of the road, also known as Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. This year however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening is delayed.

In adherence with social distancing guidelines, the U.S. Forest Service has temporarily closed all Gifford Pinchot National Forest campgrounds, day-use sites, trailheads, Sno-Parks, cabin rentals and other developed recreation sites. The Washington State Department of Transportation will continue to coordinate the highway reopening with the U.S. Forest Service, which plans to ease closures in phases, as soon as mid- to late May.

“As warmer weather returns to the Pacific Northwest, we know lots of travelers look forward to venturing up the mountain, especially because this year marks 40 years since the Mount St. Helens eruption,” said WSDOT Maintenance Supervisor Aaron Yanez. “With the recreational areas along the upper reaches of the highway temporarily closed, we made the decision to keep the highway closed.”

Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its major eruption on May 18, 1980, the deadliest volcanic event in U.S. history.  Until the highway reopens, people interested in exploring the mountain and its history can do so virtually by visiting the Mount St. Helens Institute.




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