Heavy rain on Monday has prompted the state to reopen Cayuse Pass; Chinook Pass will reopen later.

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The heavy rain on Monday helped wash away much of the snow on Cayuse Pass allowing crews to reopen the pass at noon Tuesday.

Chinook Pass remains closed but crews hope to reopen it later this week.

The state Department of Transportation closed both passes last week after early winter storms dumped more than three feet of snow on the passes, increasing avalanche danger and creating dangerous driving conditions.

Chinook and Cayuse passes are two of several Washington mountain routes that close each year for the winter due to high avalanche risk and hazardous conditions. Crews are also watching the North Cascades Highway (elevation 5,477 feet), which also closes each winter.

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