Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mt Baker Highway Drive

12 September 2015

We chose the perfect day for the Mt Baker Highway 542 exit 255 from Bellingham drive, said to be the "road to exhilaration". We agree. The road is 55 miles to Artist Point and a beautiful view of Mt Baker. The last 5 miles are switchbacks climbing to around 5100 feet with awesome views. The highway passes through scenic vistas,waterfalls and along the Nooksack River. The area provides many hiking trails,lodging,camping and skiing. This is a must if in the area. Be sure and get the Mt Baker driving guide from a visitor center and you will need to purchase a day pass for $5 unless you have a NP Golden Passport. The WA Discovery Pass is not valid since this is a National Recreation Area.

Baker Highway Map

Road from Picture Lake to Artist Point

GPS Proves It

Mt Baker Ski Area and Lodge Panorama Dome in Background

Highway View

Our first stop at milepost 40 was Nooksack Falls just off Wells Creek Road down 1/2 mile gravel road to parking area.A short hike takes you down to fenced area  and for viewing the 100ft falls. The falls is one of the more popular in the North Cascades and was featured in the hunting scene of "The Deer Hunter". The Nooksack Falls Hydroelectric Plant is still in operation.

Nooksack River

Nooksack Falls

Continuing, our next stop was Picture Lake and a view of  Mount Shuksan. Mount Shuksan stands at 9131 feet and is east of Mt Baker and 12 miles south of the Canadian border. It may be one of the most photographed in the Cascade Range. The name in the Nooksack language means high peak or golden eagle. Taking the boardwalk trail gives you great photo opportunities for reflection in Picture Lake.

Mount Shuksan

Picture Lake

Mount Shuksan Reflection in Picture Lake

By the Lake

Another View

Continuing up to Artist Point, we stopped for a picnic and another view of Mount Shuksan.

Picnic Spot

View of Mount Shuksan

Blue Bird Trail Marker

Arriving at the top, parking was an issue but we managed to find a spot after riding around. There are several hiking trails from here, the most popular a mile up to Table Mountain. We opted to pass on this one due to 600 ft incline.It is recommended for experience hikers. Hope, having climbed Smith Rock, you could do this.

Table Mountain

Hikers Top of Table Mountain

We did get some beautiful pictures of Mt Baker rising to 10,781 ft. Mt Baker is the second most active volcano in the Cascade Range with Mt St Helens ranking 1st. Mt Baker has had several names in its 400,000. Nooksack Tribe called "white mountain", the Lummi called it "broken off" referring to frequent volcanic activity. In 1792, Captain George Vancouver named it for officer Joseph Baker who spotted the peak while sailing near Dungeness Bay. Mt Baker gets an annual snowfall of 595 inches. The mountain supports 20 miles of active glaciers. One can join a scaling expedition May through October.

Mt Baker

Fall Colors with Mt Baker in Background

Close up View

Even Closer

While at the top found a heart shaped rock for Hope.

Heart Rock

Between us we took almost 200 photos and it has been difficult selecting the ones for the blog.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful place! You now have me looking for heart rocks!