Drive and Hike Mt. Baker Scenic Byway

From Bellingham to the majestic peak of Mt. Baker, Mt. Baker Scenic Byway (SR 542) offers visitors a step back in time. The 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.

Mount Baker Highway (State Route 542) stretches 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 the birthplace of snowboarding. 

The Mount Baker Visitor Center in Maple Falls on the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway, State Route 542, is a great spot to help you find fun and interesting things to do while you are here. While you're there, pick up maps of Mt. Baker National Forest, as well as recreation passes.

See two-for-one when you visit the most photographed landscape in the United States. Capture stunning views of Picture Lake with snow-capped Mount Shuksan in the background, just off the Mount Baker Highway

Please note: the final stretch to Artist Point/Picture Lake is seasonal and at times the final 1.8 mile stretch of the Mt. Baker Highway (SR 542) to Artist Point may be closed to vehicles. Be sure to check the status of the Artist Point trailhead before you go. 

Simplify your mountain excursion by staying near the action! Choose from a variety of campsites or try dispersed camping (just make sure you recreate responsibly and follow all wilderness guidelines!). 

Or, better yet, book lodging near the mountain. There are several overnight options within half an hour of the mountain, mostly in the town of Glacier, WA. Choose from rustic cabins, bed & breakfasts, cozy cottages, and chalets. 

Find more on Mt. Baker lodging here

Continue driving 0.5 miles beyond Picture Lake on Mount Baker Highway to reach the Heather Meadows parking area and the trailhead for Bagley Lakes. Situated in a cirque beneath towering Table Mountain, these sparkling alpine lakes can be explored via an easy 2-mile loop trail. 

Want something longer? Try the Chain Lakes Loop. At 6.5 miles with 1,800 feet of elevation, it's a great option for a day hike that includes a lakeside picnic. 

Or you can simply take in the views from the Heather Meadows Visitor Center

Travel tip: This area may be inaccessible due to snow between October and June/July — check the latest conditions before setting out!

When the snow melts out for summer and you have to put your snowshoes away, Mount Baker becomes a hiking and backpacking paradise.

Please note: the final stretch to Artist Point/Picture Lake is seasonal and at times the final 1.8 mile stretch of the Mt. Baker Highway (SR 542) to Artist Point may be closed to vehicles. Be sure to check the status of the Artist Point trailhead before you go. 

Make sure you also have the right passes and permits for your adventure, and to always recreate responsibly

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, with options for gluten-free crust and vegan cheese.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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