Hatcher Pass Road reopens after avalanches closed it for more than 2 months

A snowy road
Crews clear avalanche debris that closed Hatcher Pass Road for two months. (Alaska Department of Transportation)

Hatcher Pass Road reopened Tuesday, more than two months after a series of avalanches blocked access to the popular recreation area near Palmer in the middle of ski season.

The large avalanches prompted the state Department of Transportation to close the road on Feb. 14. That cut off road access to areas around Independence Mine and Archangel Road, plus Hatcher Pass Lodge. 

Avalanche debris covers two stretches of the Hatcher Pass Road after a storm in April 2021 . (Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center)

The state DOT says some slides were significantly deeper than initially estimated. Delays in clearing the road were partially due to staffing challenges. A DOT-certified avalanche specialist had to be on site during the entire mitigation and snow removal processes, and there’s only one for the region.

The DOT announced Tuesday morning it had cleared the road to the Independence Mine lower parking lot.

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