N. Cascades Hwy closed for winter; this map shows why
In short, the highway runs right through many, many avalanche zones. Keeping it clear all winter would be dangerous and difficult. Not to mention, who would want to drive a road where you risk getting swept up in an avalanche?
You can get more information about the highway and why it closes each year on the WSDOT's page. And if you'd like to look at a larger version of the map, there's a huge version here.
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