Rainy Pass to Cutthroat Lake Professional Review and Guide
"This is a lovely, invigorating run in the summer. The area is much cooler than the parched Methow Valley, with good climbs, well-marked trails, and breathtaking scenery. In the fall the autumn leaves add dashes of color to the stark landscape of the higher elevations. The climbs are challenging, but most of the trail is runnable. Some tricky footing on rocks between Cutthroat Pass and Cutthroat Lake prevents going fast through this area.
The run starts at Rainy Pass (elevation 4840 feet) on the Pacific Crest Trail (A), which passes through forest with a gradual climb. Cross the small stream and enjoy the little waterfall above. After about a mile, the trees begin to thin and the trail gets steeper. As you continue climbing, the soil becomes more like fine crushed rock and the trees take on the rugged alpine look of many snowy, windy winters. The trail is high and exposed and should be avoided in bad weather."