St. Helens, Artist Point, Mount Rainier Open Roads
Roads leading into three great recreation areas -- Artist Point, Mount Rainier and the east side of Mount St. Helens -- have opened for the Fourth of July weekend (thanks road crews!). Get the details and remember: just because a road may be open, it doesn't mean hiking trails will be clear or snow-free.
Roads leading into three great recreation areas -- Artist Point, Mount Rainier, and the east side of Mount St. Helens -- have opened for the Fourth of July weekend (thanks road crews!). Get the details and remember: just because a road may be open, it doesn't mean hiking trails will be clear or snow-free.
Artist Point is open
On June 30, WSDOT crews finally cleared the last of the snow from the road to Artist Point. Artist Point is located at the very end of Mount Baker Highway, State Route 542 and boasts 360-degree views of Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker, as well as access to a variety of trails.
If the clouds cooperate, the views from the parking lot are stunning, but there's still tons of snow still up there, so you're better off waiting about a month for the really great Mount Baker hiking, and spend the next month enjoying early North Cascades hiking.
Mount Rainier roads open
The road to Sunrise opened a few days ago, and the Sunrise Visitor center opened today. At 6,400 feet, Sunrise is the highest point that can be reached by vehicle at Mount Rainier National Park. What it means for hikers: there's still plenty of snow on trails there.
"Skyline trail still now covered, backcountry route finding skills required past Panorama Point," Mount Rainier National Park said on their twitter feed June 27.
Crews also opened Mowich Road today. The Paradise, Longmire, Ohanapecosh and Carbon River areas were already open.
And just like that, the roads are all cleared and open for the season. Many thanks to the road crew. Yes, Mowich Rd is now OPEN! -pw— MountRainierNPS (@MountRainierNPS) July 3, 2013
- This time of year, trail conditions vary wildly in the park depending on where you are. To find safe, snow-free hikes, check Trip Reports or call/stop in to get advice from a ranger.
Access the east side of Mount St. Helens and ranger-led activities
Forest Road 99 will open Thursday, July 4, 2013, allowing access to Mount St. Helens east-side attractions such as Windy Ridge, Meta Lake and the Miner’s Car as well as east side access to the Mount Margaret Backcountry.
A visit to Mount St. Helens may not have been on your hiking radar, but it should be. Hikers always wish they had visited the Monument sooner. And because of snow, the window on the east side is a short one. The road accesses remote and unique locations deep within the blast-zone, where visitors can see the impact and recovery from the 1980 eruption.
"We would really like to see more families taking advantage of this unique experience,” says Ranger Cory Wall.
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument will be offering daily Ranger-led activities at sites along FR 99, including Eruption Talks at the famous Windy Ridge Viewpoint and at The Blast Edge, Donneybrook and Harmony.
- For more information, visit: www.fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens