I ♡♡♡ this place! Takes my breath away everytime! I wish I lived there! :) PNW makes me proud to be a Washingtionian! Great for all skill levels. Amazing views. Picnic areas, clean bathrooms, pet friendly on leash, big parking lot! You MUST stop here at some point, you will not be disappointed!
Short paved fully accessible trail to a stunning view of Liberty Bell Mountain, Early Winters Spires and Kangaroo Ridge. Drive 30 miles west from Winthrop, WA on Highway 20, turn right onto 2 mile paved road to the Washington Pass Overlook parking area. As the highest point on the hwy. at 5477’ elevation, Liberty Bell Mountain is a jagged edged precipice that looms above the Washington Pass Overlook at MP 162.2, with wide-angle views 700 ft. above the highway. While there is “no fee,” a Northwest Forest Pass is required: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r6/passes-permits/recreation. The observation point is fully accessible and features views of the ridge uphill and the hairpin turn on Route 20 far below. A loop trail continues down along the rocky outcrops and back to the parking area. Since we were here, they have improved the safety of the area by adding protective railings. Still, be cautious as the cliffs are straight drop-offs. Definitely worth a stop in the North Cascades.
Any hike that is part of the PCT is a 5 star to me. I have never done Rainy Pass to Cutthroat....I did the hikes separately. Both are beautiful Summer and Fall hikes. Lots of switchbacks and a Cougar sighting on Cutthroat near the summit.....or area to sit for a while a eat some granola. Black bears on Rainy Pass.
I didn't do the lake (but you can see it from the pass) but came down from Hart's Pass to Rainy Pass. This is an amazing section of the PCT. My blog has pictures and the story.
One of the better trails in the North Cascades, Cutthroat Lake and Cutthroat pass can be accessed from the Cutthroat pass trailhead, or via the Pacific Crest Trail at Rainy pass. For a point to point hike, position a car at the Cutthroat trailhead and start at Rainy pass.
The Cutthroat Lake portion of the trail is open to mountain bikers, while the PCT is not.