Heather Meadows and Artist Point Hike
Hiking Heather Meadows and Artist Point makes for a lovely quick trip in the Mount Baker Wilderness. This hike is 4.7 km long and rated as easy, making it a good pick for beginner hikers, families, or those seeking a more laid-back experience. You’ll earn great views of Mount Herman, Mazama Dome, Table Mountain, and the numerous lakes that dot the area. Since this hike starts and ends near the Austin Pass Picnic Area in Heather Meadows, you can extend your adventure to include some picnicking and relaxing.
This trail isn’t very well marked. We recommend downloading the GPS track, but even then, you’ll potentially need to exercise some routefinding abilities depending on when you visit, if there’s snow, and how busy it is. Try to look for a trail, even if it’s faint, to minimize damage to the surrounding foliage. Expect a few short steep sections.
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Route Description for Heather Meadows and Artist Point Hike
Heather Meadows is a picturesque spot tucked underneath the imposing nearby mountains and dotted with little alpine lakes. It’s a beautiful place to wander around with loved ones, enjoy a picnic, or go hiking. This trail takes you from Heather Meadows up to Artist Point, a popular overlook with a great view of the surrounding features. See more lakes than you can count and admire nearby Mount Herman, Slate Mountain, Barometer Mountain, and Mount Baker on clear days.
This hike can be completed almost year-round, but it’s preferable between late spring and mid-fall when there’s a bit less snow to contend with. Artist Point is popular with snowshoers, so should you come in the wintertime, bring snowshoes for a different experience.
From the trailhead, hike south on the path that runs roughly along the road. You’ll pass Lower Bagley Lake and Bagley Creek on your right. Keep right onto Wild Goose Trail and then a left to pass the visitor center.
There are interpretive signs along Picture Lake, Fire and Ice, and up at Artist Point if you’re interested in learning more about this area. Take a moment to stop and read before continuing on.
Wild Goose Trail picks up again past Terminal Lake. From here, you’ll hike mostly parallel to the road. The grade of the trail increases as you approach the point, but the steep section doesn’t last long before you find yourself at Artist Point.
Look out over the sea of mountains and see how many lakes you can spot down below. When you’re ready, you’ll retrace your steps back to the trailhead, perhaps setting up your picnic or finding a good spot for a game of cards before you leave for the day.
Artist Point is also accessible by car on the Mount Baker Highway. If anyone in your group has mobility issues or can’t join the hike for another reason, it’s nice to be able to make the drive up so all can still enjoy the view.
Hiking Route Highlights
Heather Meadows sits at the eastern end of the Mount Baker Scenic Byway, in a meadow-filled spot where heather and huckleberry grow in abundance. This area is filled with small lakes and framed by mountains, making it a nice stop for visitors to the area who want to hike, picnic, or just enjoy Washington’s gorgeous mountain scenery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drive to Artist Point?
Yes, the point is accessible by car and by foot.
Can you get to Artist Point in the winter?
Yes, Artist Point is a popular snowshoeing destination and can be accessed in the wintertime.
Insider Hints for Heather Meadows and Artist Point Hike
- There is a $5 fee per vehicle per day to hike this trail in the summertime. There is no fee in the wintertime. Fees are subject to change.
- Recreation passes can be used to waive the fee.
- There’s no camping available in this area.
Getting to the Heather Meadows and Artist Point Hike Trailhead
The trailhead for the Heather Meadows and Artist Point hike is in the parking area off Mount Baker Highway.
Heather Meadows and Artist Point Hike Elevation Graph
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Heather Meadows and Artist Point Hike Reviews
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