You know winter is here when the WA State mountain passes start closing for the season.

Chinook closes after a foot of snow Friday and weekend

 The Washington State Department of Transportation reports after a foot of snow fell on November 10th, and more on the way over the weekend, it was time to close the gates on Chinook Pass.

It is one of three WA state passes that usually close between now and spring. Chinook is State Route (SR) 410 that begins in the Naches Valley, wraps around the northeastern face of Mt. Rainier, and ends near Enumclaw.

WSDOT says the pass probably will remain closed until Memorial Weekend, 2024.

Cayuse Pass, which is near the intersection of SR 410 and SR 123, also closed due to heavy snowfall, according to WSDOT.  Cayuse is located not far from the east slopes of Mt. Rainier. It will will remain closed until spring.

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The North Cascades Highway is still open as of this week, it is the northernmost pass in WA state and runs on SR 20.

Snow levels are expected to drop significantly in Cascades in the next week.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

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Gallery Credit: Alexander Raeburn