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.