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Autumn snowfall closes SR 542 to Artist Point

Meggan Carrigg Davidson, communications, 360-757-5966

Final stretch of SR 542 is closed for the season

GLACIER – Snow has fallen on State Route 542/Mount Baker Highway and crews have closed the final 2.7 miles of the highway to vehicle traffic.

Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews remove snow and ice from SR 542 during the winter but this final stretch, known as the road to Artist Point, is narrow with sharp curves and steep slopes. WSDOT closes it to vehicle traffic each winter season for safety, while at the same time, a portion of the road becomes part of Mt. Baker Ski Area’s terrain.

Not the earliest closure While the road to Artist Point typically closes in October, early autumn snow has led to September closures in 2007, 2009 and 2013. The earliest closure was Sept. 27, 2007. 

While the gate is closed, backcountry adventurers can access the area and should check conditions in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Reopening the road to Artist Point Once snow stops falling in spring of 2022, WSDOT crews will evaluate structural integrity of the highway retaining wall, which is located above Heather Meadows Visitor Center at milepost 55.6. Hillside erosion caused a portion of the wall and roadway to crumble in October of 2020. Contractor crews completed work this summer to temporarily stabilize the slope and wall until funding becomes available for permanent repairs.