The unpaved portion of Burch Mountain Road in Wenatchee is shutting down Wednesday in a seasonal closure. 

Chelan County Public Works closes the road every February 15th through the end of March to protect against damage during period of freezing and thawing. 

County spokesperson Jill Fitzsimmons says the unpaved road is prone to getting ruts from heavier vehicles during the time frame. 

"The problem is, in certain times of the year, some people go snowmobiling up there, and their trucks and stuff are going to rip up the roadway," said Fitzsimmons. 

The county closes a gate on Burch Mountain Road where the pavement ends to block public access. 

The only exception is for residents that have homes beyond the gate who are given keys to unlock it. 

Fitzsimmons says the road is especially susceptible to damage from recreational activity during late February and March. 

“They go four wheeling up there, and things like that, and it’s a very easy road to rip up,” Fitzsimmons said. “If it’s freezing overnight, and then it thaws in the morning, and the it freezes overnight again and rethaws, that’s how you get the ruts in the road."

Burch Mountain Road is one of four Chelan County roadways to close on a seasonal basis, with others shutting down for four months during the winter.

The seasonal closures include:   

  • A portion of Oklahoma Gulch Road near Entiat is closed Dec. 1 through March 31. 
  • Horse Lake Road in Wenatchee is closed Dec. 1 through March 31. 
  • Mountain Home Road in Leavenworth is closed Dec. 1 through March 31. 
  • Burch Mountain Road in Wenatchee is closed Feb. 15 through March 29 from milepost 1.12 to 7.48. 

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