Winter Backpack to Artist Point

Rate this Adventure Washington Mount Baker Ski Area

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Snowshoeing, Backpacking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Winter

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1000 Feet

Dog Friendly
Scenic

Artist Point is a great spot for comfortable 3-season campers to try out snow camping. Camp with beautiful, sweeping views of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuskan, and the Cascade Range.

You do need a Northwest Forest Pass to park in the lot overnight. You can buy a day use E-pass online here (pick Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest from the drop down menu) and print it out and it's ready to use. Or you can buy the annual pass here.

The adventure to Artist Point begins in the Mt. Baker ski area. There is a lot of hustle and bustle in the ski area on weekends and busy days so it's beneficial to arrive early to snag a spot in the furthest lot of the ski area, which is where the trailhead is. The trailhead is located to the left of the outhouse adjacent to this lot. You will see signs that you are entering the Mt. Baker backcountry and begin following a trail that runs parallel to the ski runs.

The trail is well traveled so there will almost always be a clear path to follow, and many other snowshoers making the trek. The trail starts with a relatively gradual incline and at about a half mile you will pass a cabin. From here the trail grows steeper as you make your way to Artist Point. There are a couple of pretty steep sections but the trail should be doable by novice snowshoers. Once you are at Artist Point you will be able to take in the sweeping vistas of Mt. Shuskan, Mt. Baker, and the Cascades. Explore the ridge and take in the stunning views before setting up camp for the evening. Sunset is brilliant from Artist Point, alpenglow illuminates Mt. Shuskan and warm light washes over the landscape. After sunset you will be treated to a canopy of shining stars and solitude to enjoy it. While many people make their way to Artist Point for a day trip, few stay overnight so your neighbors will be few and far between.

Note: this trail travels through avalanche terrain so it is important to check the NWAC forecast before heading out. It is also important to have necessary avalanche rescue skills and gear.

Pack List

  • 10 essentials
  • 4 season tent
  • Snowshoes and trekking poles
  • Water
  • 15-degree sleeping bag or lower
  • Avalanche rescue kit
  • Camera
  • Cards/small game to pass the time in the tent
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Sonja SaxeExplorer

Seattle, WA based, adventuring everywhere. I'm on an endless journey to explore and photograph the national parks' scenic backcountry!

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