More Cities and Towns of the South Cascades
National Wilderness Areas
White Pass, elevation 4500 feet, on Highway 12, is the southern most pass through the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. It is on one of four Washington east-west passes. The other three are Stevens Pass on US Highway 2, Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 and North Cascades Pass along SR 20.
White Pass is generally open year round. It sometimes has to close for a few hours for avalanche control work or to tow vehicles that lost control in the snow. Snow chains are often required from November through May.
The nearest towns to White Pass on Highway 12 are Rimrock 15 miles to the east and Packwood 20 miles to the west. Both towns have travelers' amenities. Rimrock is a small resort town. Packwood is a midsize town with a small craft airport (55S).
White Pass is an entry portal to the White Pass Ski Area for snow skiing and snowboarding, Mt Rainier National Park, the Mt Adams Wilderness Area, Gifford Pinot National Forest and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. These areas provide many outdoor recreational activities including: camping, hiking, fishing, boating, hunting for deer and elk, snowmobiling, dirt biking, motorcycling, wildflower and wildlife observation, bird watching, biking, golf, hang gliding, horseback riding, off-roading, river rafting, rock climbing, waterskiing and wind surfing.
Recommended side trips off Highway 12 near White Pass are: rainforests and waterfalls in Mt Rainier National Park, devastation after the 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens, Oak Creek Feeding Station for wildlife observation, spring wildflowers in Big Bottom Valley, the floating forest at Spirit Lake, the Cispus River area, Walupt Lake, and the Chinook Scenic Byway.
To get to White Pass from Seattle or Portland, take exit 68 east off I-5. On the way up to White Pass, Highway 12 goes through: Lewis and Clark State Park, Matilda Jackson State Park, Ethel, Salkum, Mayfield Lake State Park, Mossyrock, Ike Kinswa State Park, Morton, Glenoma, Randle, and Packwood. After White Pass but still in on the White Pass Scenic Byway are: the Rimrock Lake area, Rimrock Retreat, the Oak Creek Wildlife Area, and Naches. The Byway is 124 miles long.
White Pass View Camera
Department of Transportation site featuring live video feeds of White Pass cameras updated every 20 minutes. Also, links to road conditions report on each of the Washington mountain passes.
White Pass Ski Area. 48935 Highway 12, White Pass, WA 98937. Phone: 509-672-3101; Snowline: 509-672-3100.
White Pass Scenic Byway
Located midway between Puget Sound and the Columbia River on Highway 12.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
100 Classic Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes In Washington: Description of Mountaineers Books 100 Classic Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes In Washington by Rainer Burdorfer. More than 100 routes and tours for intermediate to advanced alpine and Nordic skiers and snowboarders, Burgdorfer's guide is the definitive reference for the Cascade region. Order now...
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