Hiking in the Mount Baker area just got a little easier, because the Washington State Department of Transportation has cleared the parking lot at Heather Meadows, and the Depression-era visitor center is now open.
WSDOT tweeted the opening from its WSDOT North account on Friday, July 1.
“Today our crews opened the gate at Terminal Lake parking lot to allow access to Heather Meadows visitor center and public restroom,” the tweet said.
The road to Artist Point remains closed at milepost 55.35 and will be closed until crews can finish snow removal,” WSDOT said.
Meanwhile, the Heather Meadows Visitor Center opened Friday now that access is easier, said Corey Green, a U.S. Forest Service ranger at the Glacier office of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
While access to the Mount Baker wilderness is easier, Green told The Bellingham Herald that most trails in the area — including the nearby Chain Lakes and Bagley Lakes trails — remain snow-covered.
“Expert navigation” skills are advised for anyone who ventures into the snow-covered backcountry despite the warmer summer weather, Green said.
Hikers can still walk the snow-covered Mount Baker Highway the final two miles to Artist Point, but Green advised having good footwear and trekking poles.
WSDOT crews with heavy snow-removal equipment are still clearing the road.