Artists Point Sunrise Views and Snow Camping

I love Artists Point with its amazing views of Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, north to the Canadian Border and west to Table Mountain.  You have the earn the view in the winter, as the last reaches of 542 are closed at the Ski Area.  It’s about an hour snowshoe up from there.

Usually I try to go during the week, and preferably after some fresh snowfall.  Dan and I reached the parking lot about 3 to hike up to the Point to camp.  Most people were coming back down at that point as the afternoon wound down.  I don’t use my Arcteryx Naos 55 winter pack too often but it’s perfect for this trip.  We both brought zero degree sleeping bags.  That shovel, glad I brought it.  It made making a tent pad in the snow and digging out the stakes the next day much easier.

Getting Ready in the Heather Meadows Parking Lot

Getting Ready in the Heather Meadows Parking Lot

We climbed the hill and reached the Point totally socked in with clouds.  No sunset apparently today, but there was hope for tomorrow morning.  We made camp a bit east of the Point.

Dan and our Fjallraven tent ready for the evening in the snow at Artists Point

Dan and our Fjallraven Abisko 3 tent ready for the evening in the snow at Artists Point

We awoke to temps in the teens with 20mph gusts but a beautiful morning.  I had kept my batteries in my sleeping bag that night so they still had charge.  Many photos were taken and I got a bit of drone footage as well.  We saw maybe 5 people the whole time, including two dogs in dog heaven who stopped by with their owner 🙂

Happy Husky Dogs at Artists Point

Happy Husky Dogs at Artists Point

Stillness in the snow covered trees…

Stillness in the Snow Covered Trees at Artists Point Fujifilm GFX50s

Stillness in the Snow Covered Trees at Artists Point Fujifilm GFX50s

Flew the Mavic Pro 2 drone for a few minutes to capture the scene from above and catch the light on Mount Baker.  So glad I brought it.


Back to down to heated seats and a triple mocha…

Artist’s Point With a Nip in the Air – Zeiss 15mm Milvus

Trying to spend more time up here and catch the first snow before they close down the road to Artist’s Point. It’s a drive from Seattle but so worth it for the spectacular views. I have a few rituals heading out 542. I stop at Subway for dinner near Glacier. I hit the Starbucks off Woburn Street to get a triple tall mocha in the morning and wash up. If that isnt enough I also stop in Fairhaven at Tonys.

Anyway, the drive up is great. I know all the landmarks and once I pass the DOT buildings, I know the windy road to the top begins. Shuksan has a tiny dusting of snow on the peak. Table Mountain has no snow yet. Baker is beautiful as always. Its just enough nip in the morning that Picture Lake usually has mist at night. Because I am here for photos, usually I am heading in at dusk at others are heading out and vice versa in the morning. Met quite a few other photographers. Lent my tripod to one, had a nice snarky conversation with another talking about how many a7s shutters he has destroyed while making hours long time lapses. Also shared some homemade pumpkin bread with him. Helped a couple from Kentucky find some of the lesser known gems in the area. Gear-wise, I was carrying two bodies: Sony a7r and Sony a7r2. Zeiss had sent me a preview copy of their new Milvus 15mm so I was intent on using it as much as possible. I also put my Voigtlander 10mm to use for its unique perspective.

Once in the parking lot, I decided to stay in the area as sunset/sunrise would be good from the Huntoon area. Really happy with my decision.Mount Baker ReflectionTable Mountain Dusk LightTable Mountain Dusk Light in a Small TarnMount Shuksan and Night MistMount Shuksan Sunrise Reflection - Zeiss 15mm MilvusHeather Meadows and Table MountainMount Baker Sunrise Reflection in a Small Tarn at Artists Point

Mount Baker Artist’s Point Sunset Views

My friend Dan was coming off of 3 weeks of solid work behind a screen and was in need of some backcountry time.  So we headed up to Artist’s Point for an overnight and views of Mount Baker and Shuksan. Took us about an hour to snowshoe up to the point and scout around for a camp spot. Several promising locations were already carved out of the snow. The weather seemed mild during the day but got cold and windy at night. We did well with our 3 season Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 tent.  I hiked up everything in my Zpacks Arc Blast 45L pack and it felt comfortable from the moment I slipped it on.  My Z-packs 10 degree down sleeping bag kept me warm all night in freezing temps with  considerable wind.  All in all, I was happy with our gear choices including bringing a few bottles of Pike Kilt Lifter ale.


Mount Baker Sunset Light



Mount Baker details – Zeiss 100-300mm




Dan’s controlled descent  😉




Mount Baker Morning Light



Climbing the Hill

Mount Baker Milky Way from Artists Point

Decided to camp over night near Artist’s Point to catch the sunset and night skies.  Almost slept through this but thankfully I got up and captured some stars.  Sony a7r and Zeiss 16-35mm.

Mount Baker Milky Way

Park Butte This Morning

I had heard that Park Butte, the area south of Mount Baker was clear of snow. So I decided to hike in last night and catch both sunset and sunrise. I’m glad I brought my Zpacks 10 degree down sleeping bag and down jacket since it was rather nippy. I also used this trip to test out my new Inreach SE Satellite 2way communicator. All in all a great hike and nice early start to this morning.

A tarn near  Park Butte just as the sun crested the ridge.

A tarn near Park Butte just as the sun crested the ridge.

Spring Overnight Hike Along the Baker Chain Lakes Trail

I had noticed on that the Chain Lakes Trail up around Artist’s Point had mostly melted out.  So I decided to go up there for an overnight and hopefully some nice light on Mount Baker.  My gear selection was Arcteryx M40 pack, Shires Tarptent Contrail and ZPacks 10 degree bag.  These choices turned out to be good, I was warm enough at night and the pack carries so well with about 25 lbs or so.  I have to mention that I really appreciated the Zep Peach air freshner that someone left in the bathroom at Artist’s Point.  Much appreciated as its a losing battle in the bathroom, but the Zep helped.

Iceberg lake wasnt quite totally melted out but still had a nice reflection.  I decided to scramble down the avalanche chute and try to find a spot along the lake.  I think it was definitely worth the trip. #backpacking #hiking

DSC09303 DSC09338

…and now the timelapse I made at sunrise

Mount Baker Behind the Space Needle

This is the view from West Seattle across Elliott Bay.  With a long enough lens, Baker looks very close to the Space Needle. In fact, its about a 3 hour drive away.  This was shot last night with my sony a7r, Zeiss 100-300 and a mutar 2x doubler. #spaceneedle


This is the same view at 300mm