Snow-capped peak of Mount Baker viewed from Artist Point

The Mount Baker Scenic Byway dead-ends at Artist Point, about 58 miles from Bellingham.  The road gains elevation in a series of hairpin turns and curves.  There are snow patches everywhere, including a tall bank of dirty snow in the parking lot.  The entire area at the end of the road is called Heather Meadows, and this low green plant provides the ground cover along with huckleberry bushes.

Winding Hwy 542 as it nears Artist Point

Greeted by a tall bank of dirty snow at the edge of the parking lot at Artist Point

Hikers have a choice among several trails that start from the Artist Point parking lot.  One thing I love about the Mount Baker Scenic Byway is that you can see some spectacular scenery without much effort, just a short trek from the car.  But if you want a more strenuous workout, you can hike some of the longer trails in the network.

I wasn’t prepared for a long solo hike, so I simply walked a short distance to Huntoon Point.  The views of Mount Baker were just stupendous.  At 10,781 feet, Mount Baker is the third highest peak in Washington State (after Mount Rainier and Mount Adams), and it is snow covered all year long.

View of Mount Baker from Artist Point

A distant view of the Cascade range from the trail at Artist Point

A glacier on Mount Shuksan

Two snags amidst the heather and huckleberries

Looking across to Table Mountain and a distant trail

If you look closely, you can see two hikers (the dark specks) on the trail.

Mount Baker with contrail