The trail is single track for hiking, biking and horses. Very clean hard pack with some creek crossings and easy technical rock fields. You spend half of the trail on steep slopes with rocks on either side but a smooth trail to ride.
The trail is very near to the North Cascade National Park. It ascends the side of a large mountain bowl surrounded with very steep, rugged, and beautiful mountain peaks.
The trail climbs easily by cutthroat lake (2 miles) and then starts a steeper switch backed ascent through alpine forests and meadows to meet with the Pacific Crest trail at a pass (mile 6) with a stunning view of the North Cascade mountains surrounding you - bring camera, water and food.
You can continue climbing from the pass. A rider passed us continuing to the left up the trail that is visible from the saddle/pass intersection with the PCT.
The climb takes about 1.5 hours and the descent takes about 40 minutes. Allow time for taking in the scenery. We guess an altitude of 6,000 - 7,000 feet at the summit
How to get there:
Approximately 20 Mins west of Mazama, WA. and 15 mins from Washington Pass Cutthroat lake access road ends 1/2 mile at the trail head.