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Bellingham to Artist Point

  • Distance: 59 miles
  • Routes: SR 542
  • Estimated Driving Time: 1.5 hours

Tour Overview

The tour winds up the valley of the Nooksack River along the Mount Bakery Scenic Byway, through rolling hills dotted with brightly colored farmhouses and big red barns. Cattle graze in the lush meadows of the river flats; higher ground is given over to orchard tracts, poultry ranches, and truck gardens interspersed with small stands of second-growth evergreens. Gradually at first, and then more noticeably, the highway climbs upward, and farms become less and less frequent in the timbered foothills. Small settlements, forest camps, and an occasional mine or quarry are strung along the highway. Dominating the eastern horizon are the snow-crowned dome of Mount Baker and the rugged peaks and ridges surrounding it. Finally the highway winds into the heart of the Nooksack Recreation Area, a flowered alpine meadowland in summer, dotted with glaciers on the higher levels, and a vast snowfield in winter.

Mount Baker scenic byway overlap, established in 1997, The Mount Baker Highway is a well-used corridor providing year-round access to places of solitude and beauty, recreation and relaxation, lodging and rural lifestyles. It enables access to employment and its history is steeped in generations of miners and loggers.

Key Waypoints along Bellingham to Artist Point


Port of call 18 miles south of the Canadian Border, industrial and educational center, and distribution point for northwestern Washington.... Visit

Maple Falls

A multicolored cluster of buildings in a hollow on the North Fork of the Nooksack in a wild and rugged... Visit

Artist Point

Artist point trailhead provides a vista out over the heart of the mountain portion of the traditional territory of the... Visit

Side trips along Bellingham to Artist Point


This 44 mile side trip travels through the South Nooksack and Samish River valleys between Van Zandt Dike, Blue Mountain, and Lyman Hill (ridges along east side) and Anderson Mountain (along west side).

Silver Lake (Whatcom County)

This 7 mile side trip connects with recreation activities at Silver Lake.

This tour has 1 leg, 17 waypoints, 2 side trips, and covers 59 miles.