Snoqualmie Pass History

Although Native Americans traversed Snoqualmie Pass for thousands of years they generally favored other Trans Cascade mountain passes. Although there is no written record we can surmise they found it just too steep!

It wasn't until around the 1850's that explorers like Capt. George B. McClennan, Abiel Tinkham and Arthur A. Denny (founder of Seattle) became aware of the "Snoqualmie" route. McClennan was told Snoqualmie was "practicable on foot with the greatest difficulty."

Never the less, in 1858 a trail was blazed across the pass and in 1867 a road was completed that was, unfortunately, destroyed regularly by weather. In 1988 the Northern Pacific Railroad completed a railroad tunnel. The first automobile made it over in 1905.

Today Snoqualmie Pass is the primary East to West traffic route. As Interstate 90 it features from 4 to 6 lanes of traffic. Due to extensive construction in the early 80's the grades both East and West bound are moderate.

In summer traffic travels at Interstate speed day and night. Generally the pass is readily accessible in winter but the area is know for sudden and very heavy snow falls that can slow and in some cases stop traffic.

The first ski resort on the pass was started in the 1950's at what is now called Summit West. The founder, Webb Moffet became a well know leader in the skiing industry eventually owning all four ski areas at Snoqualmie Pass.

Winter activity is busy at Snoqualmie Pass with thousands of skiers making the day trip to hit the slopes. The four areas feature the largest night skiing operation in the United States.

In summer things are alive. There is world class hiking, mountain biking, fishing and more. Its a mountain wonderland just minutes away from the city.

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