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Artist Ridge - Huntoon Point

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Mount Baker Area
View map below

Length

1.2 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 200 ft.
Highest Point: 5150 ft.

Rating

3.82 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
10/22/200 Road closed: Highway 542 is closed at the Bagley Lakes trailhead cutting off vehicle access to this trailhead.
 
 

This spectacular, short trail gets lots of love - and abuse - during its short hiking season. Accessible for less than three months each year, hordes of hikers and tourists take to it as the snow finally begins to melt. This is a fragile ecosystem, marked by old and distorted trees, the first blooms from heather in August and numerous bare spots and extra "social" trails that snake off from the main trail. 

The saying goes that alpine plants "grow by the inch and die by the foot." And that is obvious on the Artist's Ridge trail. If you hike to Huntoon Point, please stay on the graveled trail. The views don't get much better from elsewhere, and the hike is so short that there is no need to take a shortcut on the way back. In addition, dogs should be leashed.

Even in late summer, it may be quite snowy at the Artist Point parking lot. But the trail often melts out before the area around the lot, so hike over to the ridge (to the right of the restrooms) to see if the trail is accessible and head off to the left toward Mt. Shuksan.

There is never a dull view on this hike, with Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker dominating, but also providing panoramas of American Border Peak, Mt. Larrabee, Goat Mountain and more to the north, and even a peak of Mt. Stuart to the south. But don't forget to look at the little things. Cold, glacial tarns dot this landscape - a delight for photographers. Tenacious flowers poke their buds out for a brief glimpse of late summer. And gnarled trees and stumps provide testament to the vast amount of snow the ridge gets every year.

The way is easy - even for toddlers and flip-flop wearers. There is little solitude on a sunny day here, but hikers arriving early in the morning or in the evening will find the fewest people and the best sunlight for photos. 

 

Artist Ridge - Huntoon Point

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.8467, -121.6910 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Mount Baker Area

Artist Ridge (#669)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Baker Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades (Burton & Spring - Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Mt. Shuksan No. 14 map

Getting There

Travel east on Mt. Baker Highway 542 for 24 miles to the Artist Point parking lot at Heather Meadows. The trail begins at the southern end of the parking area near the restrooms.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
10/22/200 Road closed: Highway 542 is closed at the Bagley Lakes trailhead cutting off vehicle access to this trailhead.
 

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Artist Ridge - Huntoon Point

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