One summer tradition I’ve developed is a trip to Table Mountain. Preferably before Artist Point is open. It’s more of an adventure that way. Table Mountain is a must do if you’re in the Artist Point area. From the top you can see Mt. Baker and Shuksan Mountain and the surrounding North Cascades. And the hike is really short in the summer, only a mile up. Four miles from the ski area if you take the road. And of course, no trip to Mt. Baker is complete without a stop at the North Fork Brewery. Delicious brews and tasty pizza warms you right up.
Joe and I first stumbled upon it after a hike up Winchester Mountain. We still had plenty of daylight left so we decided to adventure over to Picture Lake/Artist Point. We randomly hiked up Table Mountain and as if my “top of the world” moment wasn’t enough for one day, the 360 degree view on Table Mountain was an amazing addition as well. I was wiped and took a nap at the top, but Joe ran off to do some more exploring. Here’s a video of the view:
I returned the next year but this time before Artist Point was open. A friend of a friend, Ben, was visiting Washington studying for his bar exam. We decided he needed a study break and I took him on a mini Pacific Northwest tour. We started with a day hike to the Oyster Dome, had dinner at Boundary Bay, and went to a “secret” camping spot on the Nooksack River. We headed up to the Mt. Baker Ski area where the road was closed and snowshoed our way up to Table Mountain. Ben had never been snowshoeing before and we pretty excited about it. I had only been a couple times but the area was wide so we were good to go. But since it was earlier in the summer than when Joe and I had went, the trailhead was snowed over. We tried to find it but soon gave up and decided to just try to scramble up the side (yeah smart I know). We grabbed from sharp rocks and dug our toes into the wall and climbed up. After climbing about a hundred feet or so, I chickened out. It was getting to steep for me and without any proper gear, I decided to just hang out until Ben reached the top. So I dug myself a little hole on the side of the mountain so I could sit, but when I flipped myself over to sit, I slipped and fell all the way down. This was pretty terrifying because as much and I tried to dig my showshoes/heels/hands into the snow, I was not stopping. I somehow managed to safely reach the bottom (avoiding the large boulders on the way down) and proceeded to eat my lunch and wait for Ben. Eventually he came around, turns out he found the trailhead, so we both went to the top.
I went again in 2010, when I was showing a new coworker of mine the wonderfulness of Bellingham. We camped on the Nooksack and attempted to snowshoe Table Mountain. Unfortunately this time, the trail was too snowed over and we couldn’t reach the top. But spent the afternoon exploring the sides of the mountain and the rest of Artist Point. How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful state.