Local Information

Road to Artist Point: Open for the season

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 09:50

Andrea E. Petrich, communications, 360-757-5963

Final 2.7 miles of SR 542 now available for vehicle, bicycle use

GLACIER – The summer hiking season is kicking off near Mount Baker. Crews opened the gate to the seasonal section of State Route 542 at 12 p.m. on Thursday, June 21.

Three weeks of hard work plus a few days of blue skies and soft snow helped Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews clear the 2.7-mile seasonally closed section of State Route 542, known as the road to Artist Point, faster than usual.

Clearing Artist Point

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WSDOT crews started clearing the highway on Wednesday, May 30. Crews worked 10-hour days, five days a week and used a large snow blower and two loaders to push and blow snow off the road and the Artist Point parking lot.

Visitors and history
When the highway is open, an average of 660 vehicles a day move past the gate to Artist Point where visitors can hike, camp or take in the view. Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest says more than 38,000 people visited their Glacier Public Service Center in 2017 to prepare for outdoor adventures by getting required permits and checking weather conditions. The summer visitors help boost the economy in the small towns along Mount Baker Highway.

The final 2.7-mile section of the overall 57.24-mile highway was funded by state legislators and opened in 1931 to provide additional recreational access within the state. It costs about $35,000 to clear this stretch each year and it is usually open between July and October. Crews will close the gate again this winter when conditions on the steep and winding highway become unsafe.

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