Take caution and check for road closures due to flooding.
June 28, 2023

Madison Sehlke

The Road to Artist Point is Open for Adventures

The final 2.7-mile stretch of State Route 542/Mount Baker Highway, known as the Road to Artist Point, will reopen to motorized vehicles at 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 28. The road closes annually above the Mt. Baker Ski area due to winter snowfall, but is a favorite for people who like to hike or sight see once it opens in the summer. 

Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews have been working hard since just after Memorial Day weekend to remove snow and perform routine maintenance necessary before reopening the highway. Each winter, WSDOT closes it to vehicle traffic to keep travelers safe. Crews finished clearing the last section of the narrow highway with sharp curves and steep slopes and packed up their heavy snow removal equipment, allowing the U.S Forest Service to perform its final work this week.

When the highway is open, more than 650 vehicles a day travel to Artist Point. From there, visitors can hike, camp and recreate. Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest says that close to 40,000 people visit its Glacier Public Service Center throughout the year to get required permits and check weather conditions ahead of their outdoor adventures.

SR 542 roadwork and detours

Travelers should give themselves extra time to get to Artist Point. SR 542 is closed between Britton and Noon Roads east of Bellingham for the Squalicum Creek to Bellingham Bay fish passage project. Detours are in place:

  • Travelers heading eastbound on SR 542 will be detoured around the work zone on county roads north on Hannegan Road to East Smith Road to SR 542.
  • Travelers heading westbound will take SR 542 to East Smith Road south on Hannegan Road back to SR 542/Sunset Drive.
  • Local roads within the detour area will be open.
  • Single-lane closures throughout the duration of this project

To help deter travelers from bypassing the detour, there are additional closures at the following intersections:

  • Kelly Road and Hannegan Road
  • Van Wyck Road and Hannegan Road
  • Van Wyck Road and Noon Road

Summer maintenance along Mount Baker Highway is also possible. Crews will work from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, June 28-29 on SR 542 near Lower Bagley Creek Falls (milepost 49) and Razor Hone Creek (milepost 51). Flaggers will alternate traffic through a single lane to accommodate this paving work.

Get real-time traffic information on mobile phones with the WSDOT traffic app and by following the WSDOT North Twitter account.

        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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