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Artist Point - 21 July


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It was a virtually perfect ride to Artist Point.  Temperatures were about perfect.  The ride started out in the mid-60s F.  When I got to Artist Point, the temperature was in the mid to high-70s.  Light breeze.  Just enough breeze to make it the perfect temperature, even with a black t-shirt on.

Traffic was almost nil.  The few times there was someone in front of me, they turned off leaving a wide open road ahead of me.  You really couldn't ask for better.

There were a few clouds for the "artistic" side of things at Artist Point.  Parking lot was almost full...and that on a Friday.  No Forest Rangers, so didn't need to buy a Discovery Pass.  They still had sand on the corners going that last couple miles.  So it hasn't been swept or anything since they opened it.  My pet-peeve the last several years, is the state still wants their Discovery Pass paid for...but they aren't doing anything for the money.

And the views were great.

Over by Picture Lake.  Some jerk pulled over to give me a hard time for parking there.  My reply was, "Sorry, I can see your lips moving, but I can't hear a thing you're saying."  (It's true...once the earplugs are in and the helmet on, I can tell you're talking, but I can't make anything out unless you shout.)  Finally after attempting it again, his wife got him to move along.  It's a good thing we have wives.


Artist Point is one of my favorite rides.  It changes by the season, so in the early summer there are still pools of melting snow with the most beautiful blue you've ever seen.  In the summer, it is like it is in the pictures.  In the fall, the colours of autumn come out.  Hwy 542 or the Mt Baker Highway is the way to get there.  You can't get lost.  Artist Point is the end of the road.

The ride up Hwy 9 north has some nice full-speed sweepers to put a grin on your face.  As you turn onto Hwy 542, the sweepers become more and more numerous.  And tighter and tighter.  If you get a moment to look down at your GPS, it looks like someone dropped a piece of spaghetti into a pile on your screen with all the twists and turns you see ahead of you.  I paid more attention this time and there were two corners with a recommended speed of 10 mph.  Yes, 10.  And all around you are some glorious sights unfolding before your eyes.  There are no guardrails that I can remember...so don't spend too much time looking around you. ;)

Once you get to Artist Point, there are two trails.  Both are to the right as you enter the parking lot.  One trail climbs about 25 ft and heads to views of Mt. Shuksan.  

There is a hiker in the middle of the picture to give you some perspective.




The other trail has about the same elevation gain.  Maybe 50 ft, and then you're walking along a fairly level trail towards Mt. Baker.  Mt. Baker kept snagging the clouds as they went by, so the peak wasn't clear most of the time.  But it was still awesome.



If you look closely in the center of the picture, you'll see some hikers.




Edited by daboo
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It's hard to capture what the scenery there is like.  Imagine Mt. Shuksan right in your face.


But what you're really seeing is all this...and Mt. Shuksan is still huge and magnificent in your view.




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