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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.