At The End of Highway 542
Forest Eckley and Andy Whitcomb are local furniture designers who use reclaimed wood from the Pacific Northwest and build everything in Seattle. The two frequently find inspiration exploring the Cascade Mountains and are always up for a new adventure.
Photography by Mr. Patrick Richardson Wright
At the end of Highway 542 in the North Cascade Mountains is a place called Artist Point. We’ve been reading about it for the last couple of years, and finally found a free date with clear skies to go check it out. We brought along a map, compass and some turn-by-turn instructions from an old trail report, but on a sunny winter day, all we really needed to do was hike towards Mt. Baker and avoid the barrage of downhill skiers near the trail-head. The views from the upper parking lot are immediately jaw-dropping, however, they don’t compare to the vistas available from the top. After just 3 miles of snowshoeing we were surrounded by the jagged peaks and blue glaciers of Mt. Shuksan, Coleman Pinnacle, Mt. Baker, and the Ptarmigan Ridge.
Hiking directions from the Washington Trail Association:
To reach Artist Point, you’ll need to start at the upper parking lot of the Mt. Baker Ski Area. Head towards Mt. Baker on the access road to Austin Pass, as the road switchbacks to the left at the top of Austin Pass, you can take a shortcut to the right and through meadows before you rejoin the road at the 2 mile mark, then follow Kulshan Ridge a quarter mile to the left and up to Artist Point, a broad area where you can clearly see Mt Baker, Mt Shuksan, etc.