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Cutthroat Lake and Cutthroat Pass is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Winthrop, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 11.4 mi Elevation gain 2,473 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Bugs

No shade

Description
Waypoints (0)

Spectacular North Cascades scenery awaits you at the top of Cutthroat pass. If you're an ambitious backpacker, keep heading north until you reach Canada.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (113)
Photos (118)
Recordings (87)
Completed (227)
Shyloe Neizman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

A good enough hike. The views from the pass were lovely. The lake looked inviting. The long switchbacks heading up to the pass were more of a nuisance than a help...personally I would have preferred shorter, steeper switchbacks than these long ones that seemed to last forever. But my biggest complaint about this trail is the number of mountain bikers we encountered on this trail. I was not a fan of being snuck up on from behind by a group of 4 bikers going 40 mph down a switchback with no warning or alert whatsoever and had some choice words for them. They honestly scared the sh*t out of me. Otherwise, parking at the trailhead was pretty good, available along with a pit toilet. Fill out a free wilderness permit at the trailhead. Lots of available water to filter until you head up to the pass, then your water sources become limited. If you’re lucky, there’s snow melt. Otherwise, there’s nothing. Overall, it was an ok hike. Good to try once, but I probably won’t be revisiting this one again. I’d wait for the fall when the larches turn golden.

View Shyloe's Recording
Nicole Norman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingBugs

Hiked this trail on 7/13. Trail is snow free until junction with PCT. Beautiful views and the elevation gain doesn't run you ragged. We started at about 7am - plenty of parking available and maybe saw a total of 8 other people while on the trail. I had poles and hiking boots, but didn't need crampons or micro spikes

Conner Sayles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
Hiking

If you are on your way to Cutthroat pass ignore signs at junction pointing you down. Continue straight towards cutthroat lake and then turn right where the trio splits off again. You’ll know you’re on your way to the pass if you cross over two creeks.

yanira rodriguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
BugsGreat!Icy

awesome hike!! Still some ice/snow on the high elevations but they are easily passable. Started at 8 am went to lake for 1 hour then on to cutthroat pass. Spend another hour up there. Got back to car by 3 pm. Bring water!. The snow/ice will be gone soon and no other water source after the creek passes. Lots of mosquitoes while in the forest. Enjoy!!

Ryan Hanisco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Insane views! The snow is only at the very top around 7000k. I made it to the top without any gear. At the connection junction to the PCT heading north, it is still pretty snowed as the trail traverses the peaks. Recommend spikes and poles if you’re going north on PCT.

View Ryan's Recording
Pamela Sherbrooke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsFloodedMuddyOff trailRockyScrambleSnow

This was one of the most beautiful trails that I have ever done (and I have hiked an enormous number of trails in Washington and around the world). I highly recommend doing a car shuttle and hiking up one side and down the other- we went from the Cutthroat Lake side over to the Rainy Lake side- absolutely spectacular views all the way! Hike it now while there is still lots of snow on the peaks, but the trail is passable.

View Pamela's Recording
Darcy Tomlinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
BugsSnow

Did the trail today. I agree the trail has a steady, but not steep elevation gain. Omg bat man the Skeeters were literally out for blood. So deet up or get eaten up. about 6400ft you hit snow. The snow is treacherous especially if you dont bring proper gear. (micro spikes & etc...) I have 2 very bad knees & still w/ out snow gear made it to the top. Not gonna lie I did slide down a bit on my butt. The view at the top so totally worth the tube of icy hot I'm now covered in. I'd totally do it again, but pack snow gear. We used my Fiance's Garmin Inreach Explorer & clocked 12.2 w/ taking the short detour to the lake. Also very close to 2400 in elevation gain.

Katlynn Ford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 23, 2020
HikingMuddy

The trail had hardly any incline at all. There were a couple streams that we had to cross and logs to walk over. As long as you have decently traction shoes then you should be fine. Some snow when you get to the lake. Lots of people. Constantly sharing the trail. Would do again if looking for an easy walk with pretty views

Brad Krupp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 14, 2020
HikingBridge outFloodedSnow

Hiked on 13 June. The trail to the lake is open and clear and well maintained. Past the lake up to the pass gets very snowy and has a portion where a river flows over the trail to a depth of 6”-12”. We were able to cross up the hill a ways and continue. The top of the trail is under deep snow and pretty treacherous without some knowledge and gear for the snow. Overall a fun challenge but probably won’t do again.

Lori Pimental
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 17, 2020
HikingMuddy

The trail itself was beautiful - we went on a pretty rainy weekend in September so we (and the dog) enjoyed the water crossings and dense forest, but the views were hidden by a lot of haze and clouds. Also passed by a few groups of PCT thru hikers - it was really awesome to see how excited they were to be that close to the north terminus! Biggest annoyance was that some horses had gone through the trail earlier and every 5 feet there was piles of feces (which the dog also unfortunately enjoyed ). Not that I expect a rider to hop down every time the horse goes and bag it up, but please just stay mindful that other people and animals would also like to enjoy the trail without having to tiptoe around horse waste the whole time. Perhaps consider parade bags to let it collect itself while you’re riding on the trail? We always bag and pack out our dog’s waste. Just some food for thought - happy trails!

Travis Bryant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 2, 2019
HikingIcySnow
View Travis's Recording
Kylee Fleckenstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 13, 2019
HikingMuddy

If you plan on hiking to the lake, you’ll want to make a left once you’ve hit a fork in the trail. No signage telling you which way to the lake or pass, thankfully we ran into some people who let us know. Super easy to the lake, and absolutely gorgeous!

Vickie Wallace
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2019
Hiking

Just shy of the pass. Dog was tired and so was I. Beautiful where we stopped though. Wide open views.

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jodi v
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2019
Hiking

Easiest “hard” hike we have ever done!

Linda Ward
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2019
Hiking

After some of our other hikes this was just okay.

c r.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2019
Hiking

awesome!

View c's Recording
Dan Sharpe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2019
Hiking

Hiked 7/26. Trail is in good shape. The grade on the elevation gain is pretty easy so this hike doesn't feel like 2000 feet of elevation gain. Views from the top are fantastic. Access to the trailhead is easy via a semi-paved road and it wasnt crowded on a Friday afternoon. Once past the lake we only saw 6 other people, two of whom were on the PCT at the top. Definitely recommend this hike.

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