Outdoor enthusiasts hoping to access Ross Lake may be out of luck in 2022.
A local recently took a trip along the route and filmed what he saw. About 16 minutes up the Skagit Highway he came across tree after tree lying across the road. The road itself looked to be in rough shape after a tough winter, and the man was hard-pressed to make it through.
He was doing his best to clear the way, bringing in a chainsaw, but when the Hope Standard reached out to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the reply was not promising.
“Silver Skagit Road, which provides access to Ross Lake International Point in Skagit Valley Provincial Park, was severely damaged during November’s atmospheric river event,” the response read. “As this is the only access road to the park, visitors are not able to drive to this park at this time. The ministry is working on a solution and will keep park users informed as plans develop.
“Ministry staff are currently assessing the road to develop a repair plan. There is no estimated timeline for re-opening the road.”
Silver Skagit Road provides access to Skagit Valley Provincial Park. From Highway 1, it is 37 kilometres along a ‘loose surface’ road to the park’s entrance, and another 23 clicks to Ross Lake Reservoir. The park is home to Silvertip Campground, Ross Lake Campground and Whitworth Horse Campground.
Meanwhile, the Othello Tunnels are unlikely to be open in 2022.
Contacted for an update by the Hope Standard this week, BC Parks had this to say.
“At this time, more than a dozen parks have damaged trails, campgrounds and facilities. Some parks, such as Cultus Lake, are partially closed, while others, such as Coquihalla Canyon, remain fully closed due to significant damage.
“We are working diligently to re-open as many parks and facilities as possible for the upcoming season ensuring we’re rebuilding with climate resiliency and adaptation in mind.
“We don’t currently have a timeline for the repairs at Othello.
“Environmental protection and public safety remain the top priority.”