Easy to follow with or without snow
This is a fairly simple trail that is an out and back trail with a small lollipop loop at the southeast end, known as Huntoon Point. There is a well maintained hiking trail that heads up out of the Artist Point parking lot. However, be advised that you may not see it if there is snow on the ground. So this description will give general directions to follow if there is snow in the area.
Artist Ridge is located at the end of Mount Baker Highway, above the Mount Baker Ski Area. The Mount Baker Ski Area is known to get in excess of 1,000 inches of snow during exceptionally wet winters. Therefore, it is not unusual for Artist Ridge to have snow late into summer and may not lose all of its snow before the following winter’s snow returns.
We hiked in 10 feet of snow and only saw a few areas where the retainer walls of the trail were visible. We know where the trail is, but did not follow it and instead took a more direct route to Huntoon Point. The trailhead is located at the southwest end of the Artist Point parking lot. You will head uphill to the southwest and turn sharply to the southeast once you reach the top of short climb up the hill. If the trail is visible, it will be obvious. If snow is covering the trail and you don’t have a compass of GPS, you will be heading straight toward Mount Shuksan, which is located southeast of the parking lot. Mount Baker is directly south of the parking lot.
It’s hard to get lost on this trail. Once you’re on the ridge and heading southeast, stay at or near the high point on the ridge and you’re going the right way. Again, if there is little or no snow on the ground, it should be obvious where you need to go.
From the trail, there are spectacular views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. At Huntoon Point there are great views of the glaciers and waterfalls on the sides of Mount Shuksan. To the south are views of a deep valley and Baker Lake.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.