From Bellingham to the majestic peak of Mt. Baker, the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway SR 542 offers visitors a step back in time. Mt. Baker Highway winds through farmlands, rolling wooded hills, and small communities including Nugents Corner, Deming, Kendall, Maple Falls and Glacier. This byway provides access to stunning hiking, photo opportunities, and snow sports in the winter.
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Mount Baker Highway is State route 542, stretching from Bellingham toward snow-capped Mt. Baker. The highway was built gradually in the late 1800s as an access road for the lucrative logging industry and its rich history is well documented. At Glacier, the road passes into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and is a designated National Forest Scenic Byway.
Towering evergreens and leaf maples line the route, with skirts of the Nooksack River peeking out at several points. In the summer months, the highway ends at milepost 58 in a parking lot, which gives visitors access to Artist Point and its spectacular views of Mt. Baker’s 10,781-foot peak. In the winter months, the road ends at milepost 55, which is the Mount Baker Ski Area – holder of the world record for snowfall in a single season and birthplace of snowboarding.
The Glacier Public Service Center on the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway, State Route 542, serves visitors headed into the northern reaches of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and North Cascades National Park. Civilian Conservation Corps built the center in 1938, which is representative of the Cascadian style of architecture. It is listed on the federal register of historic places.
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The drive off the Mount Baker Highway to the Twin Lakes trailhead takes about 25 minutes and featured breath-taking cliffside views. Once you get to the top, you will find two stunning lakes, formal campsites and a 4.4-mile roundtrip hike.
When the snow melts out for summer and you have to put your snowshoes away, Mount Baker becomes a hiking and backpacking paradise.
Everyone will enjoy the rustic, funky vibe at the North Fork Brewery. The brewery/pizzeria/beer shrine has been an institution in Deming along Mt. Baker Highway for more than 20 years. It’s the perfect place to stop after a day in the snow at the Mount Baker Ski Area or hiking one of the many nearby trails in the warmer months. Each weekend features a different pizza special, and gluten-free crust as vegan cheese are options.