posted Aug 5, 2011, 10:31 PM by Luke Hizer
According to WSDOT, the Mount Baker Highway, aka Hwy 542, is now open all the way to Heather Meadows, the winter ski area. As a result, the visitor center
is now accessible and will open Saturday, August 6th. From the report:
However, if you had plans to access Artist's Point, a couple miles beyond, they aren't happening this year:
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.
Take a look at the full release here, there are links to a great set of pictures of some attempts to clear the snow.
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.