Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fall Larch Adventures: Cutthroat Pass & Lone Fir Campground

Cutthroat Pass 

For our fall camping trip this year, we had originally planned to camp and hike near Winchester Mountain, further north, but then changed locations due to it still being larch season. So we headed back to the same campground we camped at last year for our fall trip, but chose a different hike this year. (We did Maple Pass Loop and Blue Lake last year which you can read about here)

Hwy 20 

Quick Stats

Dates Car Camped: October 5-7, 2018
Campground: Lone Fir Campground
Day Hike: Cutthroat Pass via Pacific Crest Trail
Miles hiked: 11 Miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 2000 ft 
This campground is first come first served when it is open (June-late October) and is $12/night for each campsite plus $5/car if you have extra cars (I initially thought $10 for each extra car, so I think the group overpaid, but oh well, it goes to the parks!). There was no water service when we went, so everyone in our group brought water. Cody and I like to bring a 5 gallon blue jug filled with water every time we go camping, just in case. The pit toilets were actually really clean and were stocked with toilet paper. 

A group of us left Seattle area Friday to Lone Fir and grabbed 2 sites for our group. About 7 of us camped Friday night and I think we had about 14 people by Saturday. The sites are fairly large and good for RVs and trailers!

We drove around the campground Saturday afternoon and noticed most of the campsites were occupied (27 sites total here). It was significantly more busy this year compared to last year. We camped here around the same time last year and I think we only saw 2-3 other sites with people.
Lone Fir Campsite #24
Last year we hiked Maple Pass Loop and Blue Lake, so this year we opted for something different and we were all glad we did! From the looks of the cars parked along Hwy 20 and from reading other people's trips to Maple Pass this weekend, it sounded like our group skipped the massive crowds because we chose a lesser known trail to hike. 

We opted to hike to Cutthroat Pass via the PCT, and when we pulled into the trailhead around 9:00 AM, the lot was kind of full, but not overly. We had a pretty large group head out, but didn't notice the trail being overcrowded or anything on the way up. We made it to the pass in no time and while we were up there enjoying the views, more and more people did show up. As we were hiking down, we did notice a small conga line of people heading back, but it didn't bother us much. Everyone was out to enjoy the blue sky and yellow larches.

It took me about 2.5 hours from trailhead to the pass and about 2 hours back down to trailhead. Others in the group definitely did it in shorter time. For a 10 mile hike, it did not feel like 10 miles! 

While on trail we even saw a handful of North Bound PCT hikers! You guys are almost done! Woohoo! Such a huge accomplishment to finish the PCT I personally think. 

After our hike, some of us stopped at Washington Pass while others headed back to the campground. If you are in the area, Washington Pass is definitely a must see! Minimal hiking is involved to get to this viewpoint.

Back at camp, we got a fire started while it was still light out since we brought so much firewood. Then we got dinner going. We opted to do a potluck style taco dinner with everyone and it turned out a success! We had a list of ingredients needed and everyone brought something to contribute and in the end we all enjoyed turkey and beef taco/burritos!

She has dubbed herself "Slow Katherine" lol. Still faster than me though


We ended the night with doughboys, which I personally like better than s'mores. Buff Catherine I think was the one who got us hooked on these. We did bring s'mores too though.

What are Doughbooys you ask? They are fire roasted crescent rolls dipped in butter and smothered in cinnamon sugar and they are a wonderful campfire treat!

Quick Guide to Making Doughboys:

Step 1: Take Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Original (make sure to get original because we tried it with the flaky buttery ones and it didn't work) and separate the triangles

Step 2: Wrap a triangle of dough onto a marshmallow roasting stick (make sure it's on good cuz they tend to slip off if not secured properly)

Step 3: Roasting time varies, but get it nice and toasty, it's ok if the inside is slightly under cooked, it will still be delicious

Step 4: Grab some butter and rub it all over the cooked dough

Step 5: Roll it in a cinnamon sugar mix

Step 6: Stuff it in your mouth!

It was another great camping trip spent in the mountains with an awesome group of people.

Until next time North Cascades!

 The man, the myth, the legend. We met Stuke!

Thank you for the photo Amanda!

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