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Just in time for summer, this popular spot is open for business

The road to Artist Point opened Thursday, June 29 for the 2017 summer season. State transportation crews clear the last 2.7 miles of Mount Baker Highway each summer to provide access to nearby hiking trails.
The road to Artist Point opened Thursday, June 29 for the 2017 summer season. State transportation crews clear the last 2.7 miles of Mount Baker Highway each summer to provide access to nearby hiking trails. The Bellingham Herald file

After working seven days a week to clear snow, road crews opened the road to Artist Point for the summer season Thursday.

Washington State Department of Transportation crews clear snow on the final 2.7 miles of Mount Baker Highway each summer, but this year was a bit more challenging than most. When they started in early June, more than 40 feet of snow remained on many parts of the highway and strong winds created drifts 70 feet deep in some areas, said Bill Joyce, WSDOT maintenance supervisor.

More than 5,000 feet above sea level, Artist Point is a popular viewpoint with 360-degree views that include Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker. It’s also a popular jumping off point for popular mountain hikes.

The road to Artist Point is usually open from mid- to late July until the first substantial snowfall of the year in late September or early October.

The last 2.7 miles of Mount Baker Highway -- also known as the road to at Artist Point -- closes each winter and reopens in the summer. After battling 70-foot snowdrifts, rain, snow, wind and fog, crews reopened the road Thursday, June 29, 2017.

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