Road to Artist Point Closed for the Season
With six inches of snow falling near Mount Baker over the weekend, the road to Artist Point is officially closed for the season.
Following six inches of fresh snow falling in the Mount Baker area on Nov. 1, the last 2.7 miles of SR 542 to Artist Point finally closed for the season.
According to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, this is the latest closure date ever, and the road also set a record for days open at 172 this year. While that might mean we're getting a slow start to the winter, it's a good sign for snowshoers and skiers looking for winter fun this year.
The highway closes annually with the first significant snowfall because of the extreme conditions it experiences each winter. The road is narrow with steep grades and sharp corners, reaching an altitude of more than 5,000 feet. The road is typically closed from October through June, depending on snow levels. Last year didn't follow that trend though, with the road opening on May 14, the earliest the road had ever opened in recorded history. The previous record was June 29 in 2005.
Keep an eye on the WSDOT road conditions when summer arrives to see when the road will reopen.
Exploring in the shoulder season
Though the road is now closed, you can still explore the nearby trails and Artist Point if you're willing to walk the road until more snow falls. Come prepared and stay safe, as conditions can change rapidly in the winter, bringing snow and very cold temperatures.
Get ready for the snow
If you're anxious to strap on a pair of snowshoes, check out the trips you can take this winter when we get a bit more of that white stuff. Artist Point is just one of the fantastic winter destinations, offering incredible views of snowy mountains like Mount Baker, Shuksan, and more.