This waterfall viewing area is a short drive down a forest road from the Mount Baker Highway. After parking, head down a short trail to a rocky outcropping above the falls. The edge is fenced off, so this is as close as you'll be able to get. From here, take in the view of the falls on the North Fork Nooksack River. This is an excellent stop on your way to or from another hike or an awe-inspiring introduction to hiking for young children. Due to its easy access and majestic payoff, this short trail and viewing platform are popular.
This easy forest hike along the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway is a great family outing for all seasons. You begin descending a staircase, then wind through the lush old-growth forest following the North Fork of the Nooksack River upstream. Less than a fourth mile from the trailhead, enjoy an East Church Mountain view. See whitewater gushing over boulders, forest flowers, moss, and an occasional kayaker. Streams that cross the trail are easy to ford except during periods of heavy rain.
Picture Lake is the centerpiece of a breathtaking landscape in the Heather Meadows area. The classic alpine vista of Mt. Shuksan mirrored in Picture Lake is one of North America's most photographed mountain scenes. A backdrop of mountains, wildflowers, and colorful plant foliage makes this a beautiful, universally accessible family hike. On a paved viewpoint, interpretive sign panels and a viewing scope are installed during summer. In addition, a platform on the lake’s edge provides a resting spot.
In the winter, Artist Point is an excellent destination for snowshoeing. The area typically gets large amounts of snow: it even holds the world record for snowfall within a season (95 feet). Due to its northern location and a trailhead at 4200 feet, good snow coverage is virtually guaranteed from November to June. On average, cars can drive to the Artist Point parking area from July until late September, but for the remainder of the year, the Mount Baker Highway is only plowed to the ski area at Heather Meadows (Picture Lake). In extreme years like 1999, the last section of Artist Point might not open. The ski area is small and isolated enough that it does not disturb the peace at Artist Point and helps with winter access to this beautiful place.
In the summer, all Mt. Baker Ski Area operations and facilities are closed. However, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest surrounding the ski area is considered one of North America's most beautiful alpine areas. Many visitors come to Artist Point, which is at the very end of the Mt. Baker Highway and features stunning views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan and access to various trails. Artist Point is located at the very end of Mount Baker Highway, State Route 542, boasts 360-degree views of Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker and access to various trails. The road to Artist Point, 2.7 miles long (milepost 54.55 to 57.26) and more than 5,000 feet above sea level, is typically buried under snow and closed from October through June.
However, Artist Point typically opens in July and remains open until the first substantial snowfall of the year, usually in late September or early October.