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Whistler Cutoff

North Cascades > Pasayten
48.7412, -120.6683 Map & Directions
6.3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1,320 feet
Highest Point
6,480 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Looking South Toward Slate Pass from East of Middle Fork Pasayten River Crossing (Rolan Shomber) Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Established campsites
  • Fall foliage
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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This trail is an essential link for access to the west and central Pasayten wilderness. It allows hikers to avoid the steepest parts of the Buckskin Ridge Trail and the minimally maintained West Fork Pasayten Trail. Or, it can be part of a multi-day loop trip on any of the four major north-south trails: Pacific Crest Trail, West Fork Pasayten Trail, Buckskin Ridge Trail, and Robinson Creek (Middle Fork Pasayten) Trail. Continue reading

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Hiking Whistler Cutoff

The Whistler Cutoff Trail is part of the trail network providing access to the valleys of the west central Pasayten Wilderness. It is a link between the Buckskin Ridge Trail and Robinson Creek (Middle Fork Pasayten) Trail. The Whistler Cutoff Trail switchbacks through meadows, flowered in summer, at each end, with a lengthy forest walk in the middle.

The somewhat shallow gradient for this trail is for its primary users – horses. There is a lot of horse traffic on the trail both in summer and in hunting season.

In mid-summer, hikes start at the Slate Pass trailhead, initially descending on the Buckskin Ridge Trail for 0.9 mile to the junction at the southwestern end of the Whistler Cutoff Trail, elevation 6480 feet. 

The descent continues on the Whistler Cutoff Trail for 2.7 miles, to its crossing of the Middle Fork Pasayten River, elevation 5220 feet. Initially, the trail switchbacks down through steep meadows, flowered in summer, and then becomes a long descending traverse through the forest. The crossing is a ford in mid-summer and rock hop in the fall. There are camps near the crossing.

The next 0.4 mile traverses through a mix of meadow and forest to the northeastern end of the Whistler Cutoff Trail at its junction with the Robinson Creek (Middle Fork Pasayten) trail, elevation 5280 feet. Be sure to take the right turn at 0.3 mile to stay on the trail. The left branch goes to a large outfitter’s camp.

Once at the junction, turn north on the Robinson Creek Trail to continue your adventure into miles and miles of wilderness.

Hike Description Written by
Rolan Shomber, WTA Correspondent

Whistler Cutoff

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.7412, -120.6683 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

This trail does not have a trailhead. The trailhead coordinates are the southwestern terminus of the trail at the junction with the Buckskin Ridge Trail 498.

More Hike Details


North Cascades > Pasayten

Whistler Cutoff (#575)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Methow Valley Ranger District

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Whistler Cutoff

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