Mount Baker Scenic Byway

Winding along the banks of the Nooksack River, through small logging communities, past waterfalls and alongside old-growth forest groves, this 58-mile trek ends at the base of the 10,781-foot volcano Mount Baker and one of the most photographed scenes in the country at Picture Lake with its mirror reflection of Mount Shuksan.

The end of the road at Artist Point is only open for 3-4 months in late summer and early fall so you may want to plan around that to get some of the best hikes and photo ops of Mount Baker.

CLICK TO EXPLORE ON MAP  to find more things to do, places to stay and eat along this route.

1. Bellingham

90-minutes north of Seattle, you will find yourself in the northwest corner of Washington State. Known for its unique and local museums, shops, galleries, breweries and restaurants, Bellingham is a must-see town when visiting the West Coast. 

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2. Eagle Watching on the Nooksack River

Along the shores of North Fork of the Nooksack River, hundreds of bald eagles feast upon the schools of returning chum salmon. As the chum slowly start to decompose after arriving in freshwater and spawning, eagles from around the Pacific Northwest flock to the region in hopes for serious sustenance. Visible from the road, this amazing display of nature is the perfect weekend trip for residents of the Pacific Northwest. December through January are typically the best viewing times.

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3. Silver Lake Park

If you are looking for an outdoor recreation experience that gives you the best Whatcom County has to offer, then visit Silver Lake Park. Just 40 minutes east of Bellingham on the scenic Mt Baker Highway, Silver Lake Park is the perfect place for families to gather. Come enjoy: Camping, Cabin Rentals, Day & Overnight Lodge Rentals, Horse Camping, Fishing, Boating, Picnicking, and Trails.

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4. Glacier Ranger Station

A highly recommened stop on your way up the mountian—especially for backcountry and hiking information—the Glacier Public Service Center on the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway, State Route 542, serves visitors headed into the northern reaches of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and North Cascades National Park.

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5. Nooksack Falls

A few miles past Glacier, watch for FS-33 which leads to where the Nooksack River flows through a narrow gorge and drops 88 feet into a deep rocky river canyon.

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6. Picture Lake - Mount Shuksan

Picture Lake is the centerpiece of a strikingly beautiful landscape in the Heather Meadows area. The classic alpine vista of Mt. Shuksan mirrored in Picture Lake is one of the most photographed mountain scenes in North America. A backdrop of mountains, wildflowers and colorful plant foliage make this a beautiful, universally accessible family hike.

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7. Mount Baker Ski & Recreation Area

Mt. Baker Ski Area is a ski resort located in the northwest corner of Washington State, at the end of the Mt. Baker Scenic Highway, SR-542. The base elevation is at 3,500 feet, while the ski area is at 5,089 feet. It is about 10 miles south of the 49th parallel, the international border with Canada.

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8. Artist Point

Located at the very end of Mount Baker Highway, State Route 542, Artist Point boasts 360-degree views of Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker, as well as access to a variety of trails. Due to excessive annual snowfall, this coveted destination is typically only open from late July to early October.

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