SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. — A $190,000 project on Snow Lake Trail at Snoqualmie Pass could wrap up within the month.
A contracted trail crew has been working on a half-mile section since it was closed around mid-July. As of Sept. 4, it appeared the trail could reopen sometime in the month - it was slated to remain closed until October.
Alex Weinberg, the I-90 corridor manager for the Snoqualmie Ranger District, said the work is critical for a trail that can see hundreds of people a day.
"This is a pretty major one because Snow Lake is our most popular trail, possibly in the forest, which stretches from the border of Mount Rainier to Canada," he said, referring to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
The half-mile stretch of trail involves steep switchbacks. Work included rock work, including some blasting, according to Weinberg. Because of that, and the relatively short window crews have to do such work, the trail had to be closed to the public.
When construction is complete, the improvements that have been made are expected to create a safer and more sustainable trial.
Weinberg said the trail can see up to 1,000 hikers a day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to widespread restrictions and people began spending more time in the outdoors, up to approximately 1,500 people could be hiking the trail in a single day.
Money for the project came from the Great American Outdoors Act, approved in 2020, and uses revenue from energy development and will provide up to $1.9 billion a year for five years. The money is earmarked for priority projects and addressing maintenance backlogs.