Local News

Trailer Restriction Changed For Harts Pass Road

Apr 18, 2014

Trailer restrictions on Harts Pass Road, northwest of Winthrop Washington, have been changed for the spring season to allow for trailers equal to or less than 20 feet in length, regardless of the number of axles. 

Each spring, a local snowmobile club plows the Harts Pass road from the Forest boundary near Lost River to Cache Creek; allowing snowmobilers to reach the high country snow around Harts Pass.  Once the road is plowed in the spring, snowmobile trailers carrying snowmobiles are allowed on the road until June 1st.  In the past, the Forest Service allowed only single-axle trailers, but recently changed the restriction to trailers equal to or less than 20 feet in length, regardless of the number of axles.  The length is measured from the hitch ball to the back end of the trailer.

From June 1st to November 31st of each year, trailers are prohibited on Harts Pass road beginning at the intersection with the road leading to the River Bend Campground and West Fork Methow Trailhead (5400060) to its end at Harts Pass. 

“The style of trailers has changed over the years”, said Mike Liu, Methow Valley District Ranger, “and we’ve had many requests from snowmobilers to allow double-axle trailers on the road.” 

Ranger Liu decided to change the limitation to allow double axel trailers for this spring on a trial basis. 

The Harts Pass road is single lane, narrow, steep, and winding, with intermittent turnouts allowing for traffic to pass.  Drivers must frequently back into turnouts when meet oncoming traffic. 

“Backing a trailer on this road is difficult, and vehicles pulling trailers longer than 20 feet would not completely fit into the turnouts so other vehicles can get by,” according to Liu.  “If this spring goes well, and we don’t have any safety concerns, I’ll consider extending the change into future years.”

If you have any questions, please call the Methow Valley Ranger District office at 509-996-4000.

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