Forest Service Road 25, on the east side of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, is expected to open Thursday.
That will allow Forest Service crews to turn their attention to Road 99 that provides access to east-side monument attractions such Windy
Ridge, Meta Lake and Norway Pass Trailhead.
“In my 21 years on this Forest, this is the latest opening we’ve ever had,” Public Services Manager Ron Freeman said in a news release. “We are excited to finally get people into the Forest and Monument. Now if summer would just show, we’d really be happy.”
Late season snows have lingered at the monument and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This focused activities of visitors and monument/forest workers on lower-elevation destinations such as Ape Cave and Lava Canyon putting a damper on visitation and work at
Supervising Engineering Technician Paul Seitz said Road 25 will be cleared of snow all the way through by Thursday. He said crews working on opening the east side of Mount St. Helens will get to work on Road 99.
“We’ll start pushing through up the 99 by Friday,” Seitz said in the news release. “There is still a lot of snow up there and who knows what kind of damage we’ll find as we work our way in.”
That means it might be a while until the popular access route opens.
Seitz warned many secondary roads remain closed by lingering snow. He said drivers should be cautious of soft shoulders and roadbeds.
Winter-like driving conditions remain on many higher elevation roads.