Cutthroat Pass MTB

October 2020

The Cutthroat Trail near Washington Pass is a prime example of a true alpine mountain bike ride – unfortunately, quite a rarity in Washington State.

During the autumn season, the trail turns into a dazzling spectacle of yellows and reds, as it wends its way through gardens of larch trees and blueberry shrubs.

The trail begins at the Cutthroat Pass Trailhead just east of Washington Pass. For a couple of miles, it traverses through a dense forest without gaining much elevation.

And then the climbing begins. The trail gains about 2000 ft in just four miles at a consistent grade. Some of the switchbacks are a bit tight and technical, but with not much exposure.

As you start entering the alpine at about 6,000 ft, the views really start opening up. During prime autumn season, this area turns into a simply magical place. 

The fall colors were just unbelievable as we rode into this area that seemed straight out of a fairy-tale. The reds and yellows really contrasted with the white granite boulders.

At Cutthroat Pass, the trail intersects the PCT. It’s a great spot to have lunch and enjoy the wide open vistas.

We lingered (as we usually do), and rode down as the sun was starting to set. The warm colors of the evening sun made the larches stand out even more.