Distance: 18 km (return)
Time: 3 – 5 hrs
Elevation Gain: 726 m
Elevation Loss: 726 m
Technical Rating: Intermediate
Physical Rating: Hard
Season: June – September
Permit Required: No
This trail is an out and back that runs up to Cutthroat Pass. The whole trail is at a comfortable grade and runs through a nice shady forest until you reach the sub-alpine a few kilometers from the pass. Though the majority of the trail is easily rideable, there are some rocky, technical sections that will challenge even expert riders. The switchbacks are especially technical, though not dangerous and are a great challenge for riders of all levels. The first (which is also the last) section is the most flowy and fun, and you can really rip it through the forest. However, the best section without a doubt is the last climb into the alpine where the view of the whole drainage really opens up as you climb up to the pass. From Cutthroat Pass you can see back where you came from down near Cutthroat lake and over the other side of the pass; the views are stunning.
TRAILHEAD | N48 33.373 W120 39.221
Drive east out of Mazama along Highway 20 for 41.8 km (26 miles) and then turn right onto the road marked as the Cutthroat Lake Trailhead. At the end of this road, on your left, is the parking with pit toilets. The trail starts from the parking lot, beside the big information board.
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls
Cutthroat Pass trail junctions with the Pacific Crest Trail when it tops out on the ridge. It is prohibited to bike on the Pacific Crest Trail and you’ll certainly run into hikers while you’re up there. If you’re feeling generous, bring some snacks to share with them.
As there will be hikers on the trail, please ride with care, in control, and give right-of-way.
A shorter option is to ride out to Cutthroat lake and back, which is a total of 5 km round trip.