Mt Baker National Forest
And The Mt Baker Highway Overview
Hwy 542 especially E of Glacier
Washington State's State Route 542 - the Mt. Baker Highway - leads from I-5 in Bellingham to Artist Point in Mt. Baker National Forest, the highest elevation reachable by car in the national forest. Most of the highway east of the town of Glacier, Washington is in the national forest.
Along that stretch of Mt. Baker Highway are several trailheads, roads that lead deeper into the wilderness that surrounds Mt. Baker, a number of scenic overlooks, the Mt. Baker Ski Area, and the spectacular Artist Point. A National Forest office is located on the outskirts of Glacier, where you can pick up detailed information about the area as well as any necessary passes and backcountry permits.
The route can be done as a day trip out of Bellingham, allowing time for sightseeing and a handful of short hikes (Nooksack Falls and the Artist Ridge Trail are recommended for short visits).
Mt. Baker is an active stratovolcano, second only to Mt. St. Helens as the most active volcano in the Cascade Range. It is the third tallest mountain in Washington, and because it is directly in the path of winter storms that come off the Pacific, it is one of the snowiest places on earth - and second only to Mt. Rainier as the most glaciated of the Cascade volcanoes. Mt. Baker is a popular skiing destination, and snow often lingers on the ground at Artist Point until well into summer.
Although most visitors stick to sights along the Mt. Baker Highway, the route is mostly surrounded by Mt. Baker Wilderness, more than 117,000 acres of rugged, backcountry wilderness. Mt. Baker Wilderness offers a true wilderness experience for well-prepared visitors.
Highwood Lake and Mt. Shuksan (C14A0154)
Heather Meadows (V04A0247)
Table Mountain at Artist Point (C14A0102)
Favorite Places along Mt. Baker Highway
- Artist Point
- Artist Ridge Trail
- Heather Meadows Fire And Ice Interpretive Trail
- Heliotrope Ridge Trail
- Nooksack Falls
- Picture Lake