SR 542, the road to Artist Point 2011
Aug. 4, 2011
The first mile of road will open on Friday morning, Aug. 5, up to the Heather Meadows visitor center and lower parking lot.

July 14, 2011
We will have the mile-stretch of roadway up to the lower parking lot and Heather Meadows visitor center cleared of snow by Friday, July 15. The road will remain closed to vehicles, for now. The Forest Service is still digging out the visitor center and parking lot. We'll open the road when they finish their work.

July 5, 2011
Crews started clearing snow off Mount Baker Highway Tuesday, July 5, to reopen the road to the Heather Meadows visitor center and lower parking lot.

June 30, 2011
We found snow 50 feet deep burying the road (State Route 542) to Artist Point at Mount Baker on a scouting trip. We will keep the upper portion of the road closed all summer.

In less than ideal conditions, we trekked up the mountainside in a snowcat to measure snow depths on Wednesday, June 29. It was windy, cold, raining and socked in during the scouting trip.

“We found snow 50-plus feet deep near the upper parking lot,” said Theo Donk, WSDOT maintenance supervisor. “This is the deepest snow I’ve seen since the world-record year 1999, when the highway didn’t open for the summer.”

We will forgo clearing the last two miles of snow-covered highway to the upper parking lot because the snow is simply too deep and would take too long to clear.

The road to Artist Point is 2.7 miles long and more than 5,000 feet above sea level, and is typically buried under snow and closed October through June. In recent years, it has usually opened in July. As always, the opening and closing of the road is heavily dependent on weather and snow conditions.
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