Cutthroat Pass

Trail No. 483

Elevation 6800'

SEPTEMBER 24, 2006  - A solo hike on a beautiful fall day.  It was 48° when I left the trailhead, but the sun was bright and warm.  This was one of those early fall days that feels like a gift—brassy blue skies, bright sun, and intense colors everywhere you looked.  And the trail was all mine, all day.  I only wish I could include the spicy scents of the forest on this page. 

The trail switchbacks up to Cutthroat Pass in long, gentle slopes, making this an easy (if long) hike, and the views of the peaks become progressively more spectacular as you gain elevation.  The .2 mile side trip to Cutthroat Lake, a pretty little lake nestled at the base of cliffs, is a must.   The larches were in fall color starting at approximately 5800’ elevation, and the white rocks and blue skies were a perfect backdrop for the golden trees.  At Cutthroat Pass, elevation 6800’, the views of the surrounding peaks are amazing, and the silence is nearly overwhelming.  I ate my lunch on a sunny rock, soaking in the sun and scenery.  I’m sorry to report nary a goat in sight, but I heard eagles call, and a young squirrel scolded me as I walked back through the lower elevation of the trail.

11 miles roundtrip

Elevation gain:  2300'