Trip Report: Artist Point Snowshoe

Yesterday was a fairly decent break in the weather for a 4-mile, 1,000-foot snowshoe hike up to Artist Point near the Mount Baker Ski Area, home to the world’s greatest recorded snowfall in one season. This was a nice snowshoe for my first warm-up after a fairly lazy holiday season.

The hike is easy to get to, though the parking lot is a bit confusing. You basically just take the Mount Baker Highway all the way to the end of the road. The hardest part was figuring out which part of the parking lot the trailhead was at due to the amount of ski-related activity going on around us. The key was to look for the privy just past the end of the ski area boundary. We went too far and were on the other side of that section of the parking lot, where there was a structure covered in snow that looked like it could have been a privy. Something didn’t seem right there, though, so we kept looking around. Once we got to the trailhead, navigating this hike was super easy as there were many, many other hikers doing the same trip. It also follows the edge of the ski area/backcountry boundary, which gives you an easy marker to follow at least part of the way up.

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Sheryl and I were excited to find the trailhead!

And there was some gorgeous scenery on the way up:

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All in all a good day. We were on the mountain by 10 am (ish) and off by around 2 pm, so it was a pretty quick hike, including some time to play in the snow. Clouds rolled in fast so the views weren’t as big as they could have been but still incredible.

Side note: I didn’t get a photo but we saw some really cool basalt columns right in the ski area parking lot. They were lighter in color than ones I’ve seen elsewhere. Doing some cursory internet searching, it seems like this might be an interesting area to come back to with an eye to learning more about the geology.

https://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/noca/t4easton.html

https://nwgeology.wordpress.com/tag/mount-baker-highway/

More info on the hike from Washinton Trails Association: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/artist-point-snowshoe

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