“A 12 mile out-n-back up to Cutthroat Pass - spectacular views are worth the 2,500ft elevation climb.”
— Tony Locati
This trail is a favorite on the bike. The first 1.7 miles climbs a mellow 400 ft as it follows Cutthroat Creek to Cutthroat Lake. (Take a peek at Cutthroat Lake by taking the 0.2 mile spur trail.) From the lake, the trail climbs another 1900 ft in 3.8 miles to Cutthroat Pass (6800 ft). Prepare for gorgeous mountain views!
The trail is really nice for biking: the grade is never too steep and the singletrack is basically smooth and firm, with variable sections of sandy, or loose rocky Eastern Washington tread.
Need to Know
Northwest Forest Pass required for parking at trailhead.
***PLEASE PLEASE be "super-sensitive" on this trail! I want this to stay open to bikers! Please keep your speed down and be courteous to hikers (lots of 'em here) so they don't write complaint letters to the USFS. Please stay off the illegal parts (no Pacific Crest trail riding).
This trail is an out and back that runs up to Cutthroat Pass. The whole trail is at a comfortable grade and runs through a nice shady forest until you reach the sub-alpine a few kilometers from the pass. Though the majority of the trail is easily rideable, there are some rocky, technical sections that will challenge even expert riders.
The switchbacks are especially technical, though not dangerous and are a great challenge for riders of all levels. The first (which is also the last) section is the most flowy and fun, and you can really rip it through the forest. However, the best section without a doubt is the last climb into the alpine where the view of the whole drainage really opens up as you climb up to the pass. From Cutthroat Pass you can see back where you came from down near Cutthroat lake and over the other side of the pass; the views are stunning.
Directions: From Winthrop drive State Route 20 west about 26 miles (or 1.5 miles west of Lone Fir Campground). Turn right on Forest Service Road 400 and follow for 1 mile to the trailhead.