Dave Chesson, WSDOT communications, 360-757-5997
MOUNT BAKER – With 6 inches of snow on the ground at Mount Baker and more in the forecast for tonight, crews closed the road to Artist Point for the season Monday morning, Sept. 30.
Maintenance workers with the Washington State Department of Transportation closed the gate to the highway just above the Mount Baker Ski Area. The 3 miles of State Route 542 leading up to the Artist Point parking lot will be closed to vehicles until next summer.
The mountain highway receives extreme weather conditions – especially along the steep grades, sharp curves and narrow roadway that make up the last stretch of road – making it unsafe for travel open once ice and snow move in.
“Winter weather for Mount Baker is just about right on schedule, and there’s no messing around up here when it comes,” said Tony Hernandez, WSDOT maintenance superintendent. “This closure is a little earlier than the past few years. But we also opened on July 1, which was earlier than usual, too.”
The latest recorded closure on record is Oct. 26, 2011, and the earliest recorded closure is Sept. 27, 2007. For a year-by-year list of closing dates, visit the open/close history page.
Crews opened the road this summer after clearing snow that buried the highway and Artist Point parking lot.