Get Our Mobile App
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Dustin Terpening, WSDOT communications, 360-757-5997 (Burlington)
Debra Paul, US Forest Service Supervisory Techinician, 360-854-2614 (Sedro-Woolley)
Road opens to Heather Meadows; Artist Point access remains closed
MOUNT BAKER – Just in time for the gorgeous summer weather that has finally arrived, an additional mile of scenic Mount Baker Highway opens Friday morning, Aug. 5, giving visitors access to the Heather Meadows visitor center. The road has been closed since October because of deep snow.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) finished clearing the first mile of roadway in mid-July up to the visitor center, digging through snow 20 feet deep. Now that the U.S. Forest Service has finished digging out the visitor center, the road can reopen. The visitor center officially opens Saturday.
The remaining two miles of roadway that leads up to scenic Artist Point and the upper parking lot will remain closed all summer because the snow is simply too deep and would take too long to clear.
During a scouting trip in June, WSDOT crews found snow 50 feet deep burying the road, and made the call to leave the road closed for the summer. This is the deepest snow since the world-record year 1999, when the highway didn’t open at all.
The road to Artist Point is 2.7 miles long and more than 5,000 feet above sea level, and is typically buried under snow and closed October through June. In recent years, it has usually opened in July. As always, the opening and closing of the road is heavily dependent on weather and snow conditions.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
- Website www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/Baker/ArtistPoint
- Video www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYgGIgHQFTs
- Pictures www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157626960626563/
- Artist Point open/close history www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/Baker/ArtistPoint/history
- Heather Meadows http://bit.ly/pF99Lz
< Go Back