Photo by Forrest

Cutthroat Lake

  • Region: North Washington Cascades
  • Length: 1.5 miles one_way
  • Min Elev: 4550 ft
  • Max Elev: 4935 ft
  • Season: Summer/Fall

Scenery: 4

Difficulty: 1

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From Winthrop, drive west on State Route 20 for about 26 miles. At the sign for 'Cutthroat Lake', Turn right onto Forest Service Road 400 and follow this road one mile to the large trailhead.

Trail Description

The trail to Cutthroat Lake is a pleasant, short hike on the drier side of the North Cascades. The walk, which maintains a gentle grade throughout, offers views to the mountainous ridges to the south and west, towards the head of the canyon. Cutthroat Lake sits below Cutthroat Peak and it's surrounding ridges, tinged with the reddish rock that is typical in this area of the North Cascades.

From the trailhead, the path almost immediately crosses Cutthroat Creek on a large, sturdy bridge and begins it's gentle climb towards the lake. Near the half-mile mark, the trail crosses a side creek, which was actually dry during our August hike, but a footlog was provided for those wetter times of year. At the 1.5 mile mark, a side trail leads off to the right towards Cutthroat pass. Stay to the left, and cross Cutthroat creek on a footlog. Walk for nearly a quarter mile until reaching the lake, the shore of which is fairly muddy and filled with grasses. There is no camping allowed within mile of the lake.


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