Distance: 11 km
Elevation Gain: 901 m (2956 ft)
Time: 6.5 hours
Date Added: September 17, 2013
Last Update: September 17, 2013
Brute Mountain is an exciting and challenging hike up to a rocky peak with sweeping views over Bennett Lake, Montana Mountain and Carcross.
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This is the same trailhead as for the Montana Mountain
Trail. From Carcross, drive south across the bridge and take your first right. Drive to the end of the road and make a left up a gravel road. Continue straight up, you're on the Montana Mountain Road. This is a rough road that requires high clearance to avoid large boulders.
There are two trailheads for this route, depending on how far you want (or are able) to drive up the road. The first trailhead is at a small washout, 8 km up the road. The second trailhead requires you to take the by-pass road at roughly 7 km up the road. The by-pass road is marked with a wooden post and has signs for the Mountain Hero and Nares View mountain bike trails. When the by-pass road joins back on the main road, you can descend to a small, old cabin. This is the second trailhead and a return trip from here is only 6 km.
Regardless of which trailhead you choose, you will eventually meet at the base of the ridge. The route described below is from the first trailhead, so if you are starting from the second trailhead, you can skip to the section where the trails meet.
From the first trailhead (the washout), follow the road until you reach the landslide area. There are actually three parts to the landslide; the first two parts are small slides which have a pretty worn trail across them, the third slide is the largest and there is little to no trail across it. But luckily for you, for this route there is no need to cross the last slide, as you will instead need to drop down to the creek below.
Cross the creek and follow it upstream for about 20 meters until you reach a fork of two creeks. Take the right fork, following up high on the left bank of the creek. This is a nice portion of the trail as you hike gradually uphill above the creek and its rocky canyon. Eventually the slope you are following will reach the same elevation as the creek - this is good place to cross and head up the slope now to the west aiming for the right portion of the ridge of Brute Mountain (north ridge). The terrain is a mix of low growing shrubs and lichen, and large rocks. From here, both trailheads follow roughly the same path for the rest of the route.
Once on top of the ridge it becomes all rocks. The route is straightforward from here as you follow the rocky ridge to the summit, however there is some pretty serious scrambling as the ridge becomes a jumble of large rocks and slippery lichen. Once you reach the peak it will be worth it with stunning views over Bennett Lake to the west and the Montana Mountain area to the southeast.
You can follow the same route back to either trailhead. If you parked at the washout, another option is to hike to the other trailhead and follow the road back down and across the landslide to where you parked. This would add about another kilometer.
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