Knowing what to expect from Snoqualmie Pass weather is essential to getting safely over the summit. If you're heading to the pass in search of perfectly packed powder, then you're in good company. Enthusiasts come from all over the world to explore Snoqualmie Pass and its many avenues for downhill as well as cross-country winter adventures.

Admittedly, the same thing that makes for prime skiing sometimes creates hazardous conditions. Nevertheless, with a little planning and guidance, you too can enjoy Washington state's outdoor wonderland and make memories that will last a lifetime.

If you are looking for current driving conditions, you'll find that link under the "Snoqualmie Pass Weather Advisories" heading, below.

Where Is Snoqualmie Pass?

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The Cascade mountain range runs North to South through Washington, and Interstate 90 crosses the mountains from east to west. Heading east, away from Seattle and the Puget Sound, I-90 meanders through Bellevue, Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend. Then the trek upward through the Cascades continues to Snoqualmie Pass, where the route reaches an elevation of a little over 3,000 feet.


Snoqualmie Pass is the lowest point crossing over the top of the Cascades; however, it's still high enough to get plenty of snow each season. The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) estimates that Snoqualmie Pass weather generates on the average around 450 inches of snowfall during the winter. It rains a lot in the area too, making for potentially extreme road conditions throughout the year.

Snoqualmie Pass Weather and Traffic

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An estimated 32,000 vehicles travel over the pass daily during the week and twice as many on the weekend. It's a good idea to prepare for Snoqualmie Pass weather no matter what the season because nature and traffic can be unpredictable.


Roads closures happen because of accidents, ice, highway maintenance, and avalanche control. Avalanche danger increases with new snow, melting snow, and high winds. Their occurrence causes traffic delays in the winter, and keep in mind that an avalanche can also be a danger in the summer at higher elevations. If there is still snow on the top of the mountain, the risk happens in the heat of the day when everything warms up and begins to melt.

Seasonal Considerations

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You can see why it's critical to keep informed of the weather and traffic situation if you're planning a trip to Snoqualmie Pass. Additionally, each season has its own set of challenges.

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Winter Driving Checklist

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You should probably always keep a first aid kit in the car when you're planning a road trip. The same goes for flares, jumper cables, your phone charger, high energy snacks, and water. Winter weather calls for a few additions, such as a warm blanket, sand or kitty litter, an extra coat, and gloves.


WSDOT has a handy checklist that you can print out ahead of time so you won't forget anything.


Practice safe driving during the winter using these tips:

Snoqualmie Pass Summit and Slopes

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You'll reach the Snoqualmie Pass summit 45 minutes out of Seattle traveling up I-90, depending on Snoqualmie Pass weather and road conditions.


Once you arrive, pick up one of the handy color-coded trail maps to guide you to the appropriate spot for your winter adventure. You'll find printed versions at ticket windows, guest services, welcome areas, and main chairlifts. Peruse the guides online to discover the ease or difficulty of the slopes you're considering. The challenge level, denoted by a green circle for beginners, shows a blue square for intermediate, a black diamond for advanced skiers, and a double-black diamond indicating the expert level trails.


Trail maps also let you know what kind of lifts are available. You will be able to find out where to park as well as if there is a shuttle bus to get you to the trailhead. Other pertinent information includes where the restrooms, food, bar, and guest services are located.


Alpental

Nordic

Summit West

Summit Central

Summit East

Snoqualmie Pass Weather Advisories

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There are lots of ways to stay abreast of Snoqualmie Pass weather conditions and advisories. One of the best ways it to save this link to The Summit at Snoqualmie conditions and weather page. It's packed with useful information including snowfall with variable surface conditions, the weather forecast, and I-90 travel challenges. Plus, they offer a live-camera view of several regions such as Summit Central and Alpental.


Another option is to connect to the WSDOT Snoqualmie Pass weather and road conditions page. Here you'll find up to the minute reporting on the weather and travel times as well as visibility and wind speeds, which are important considerations all year long.

Snoqualmie Pass Recreation for All Seasons

There is so much to do when you visit Snoqualmie Pass, no matter what time of year. Fishing, camping, backpacking and day hikes are all popular activities for Washingtonians and tourists alike. You can explore MT. Baker's Snoqualmie National Forest; maybe you can even go birdwatching or river rafting. Make sure to get the necessary passes, permits, and gear up so nothing will detract from your Snoqualmie Pass adventure, no matter what the weather has in store.


Image via Pexels

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