Venus Mine

Distance: 4 km
Elevation Gain: 272 m (892 ft)
Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Region: Carcross
Date Added: August 18, 2011
Last Update: August 18, 2011

If you have a couple of hours on a weekend and want to get out and explore some historical mining artifacts, then this hike is perfect. It is a little steep on the slope, but short enough not to take the wind right out of you. The views are superb looking down Windy Arm. Just remember that all the structures are extremely unstable and dangerous and only go near them at your own risk.

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Driving Directions

Drive south on the South Klondike Highway towards Skagway. After 25 km from Carcross there is a pullout on the right side of the highway with a yellow gate and a road that leads up the mountainside. Just before the pullout there are old mining structures along the highway. Park at the pullout with the yellow gate.

Advertise your Yukon business here.

Trail Description

From the yellow gate, walk up the road. When you come to a fork where the road turns around and goes up or goes straight, head straight. You will soon come up to the first mining structure.

From here climb the steep hillside straight up. Eventually you need to aim towards the right where the mine shaft is located. The slope is steep but fairly open. You will soon have to pick your way through a few trees and then the slope will open up again. Depending on your line up the slope, you may end up along a rough path that leads to the mine shaft (this is supposedly an old telephone line).

If you found the path, follow it to the mine shaft. Otherwise, walk up until you are about the same elevation as the large wooden structure and then walk straight towards it.

Be careful around these structures as they are over 100 years old and could collapse at any time. Do not go down the mine shaft (even just a little), walk out onto the rail line, or climb anything. Follow the same route to get back.

The Venus Mill near the highway was built over 100 years ago in order to crush the silver ore which was mined in the mountain side. A tramline ran down the mountain to bring buckets full of ore down. The mill ran until 1912 and was reopened in 1918 for 2 years. It sat idle for 50 years and shutdown for good in 1979. In it's latter years, the mill saw gold as well as silver.


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Comments / Trip Reports

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July 15, 2017


En effet, la trace présenté ici n'est vraiment pas la plus simple à suivre.
J'ai fait cette randonnée le 13 juillet et j'ai fait des kern aux intersections permettant de trouver ce que je juge être l'intinéraire le plus simple.

Indeed, the trace presented here is really not the easiest to follow.
I did this hike on July 13 and did kern (stone pile) at intersections to find what I consider to be the simplest route.
July 6, 2017

As noted in other comments, in order to reach the mine easily, don't go straight when you come to the fork in the road. Switch back to the left and continue to an open landing. There will be a trail on your right (near the end of the open area) that cuts back towards the mine.

The majority of the trail is well defined. There is a fork, fairly near the beginning of the trail, where it appears the trail starts cutting upwards at a steeper grade. Stick to the lower path even though it initially appears less defined. We marked the correct direction with sticks, but there's no telling how long those will last.

Be careful climbing around the structures and entering the mine if you choose to do so.

On your way down, take the other direction from the very first fork and check out the old air intake/exhaust building!

No signs of bears. About an hour up (taking the wrong path) and 20 min down.
Luca Fontana
June 16, 2017

Be carefull as the trail description is not correct

When you get to the fork, instead of hike straight and then climb up the mountainside (I did it and it's REALLY steep), turn left until you get to a small plaza with some old electrical stuff. Here turn right to the mine direction, you will find a trail in some small bush that cut the mountain. You will reach the old mine very easly.

I explored a bit the structures and they are in very bad condition, don't go inside them.
I went also inside the mine with a headlamp for about 50/60 meters, it looks fine and solid, but as I was alone I didn't go further. If you decide to explore the site, be very very carefull.

No bears prints or poo in all the area, just some goat poo and squirrels all around.

Beautiful hike, 1:20h go up (from the mountainside) and 20 minutes way back from the trail.
June 7, 2017

This hike had amazing views and exploring the mine was fantastic. However, climbing up the shale mountain face was a bit of a grind. We found that if you turn left instead of going straight at the initial fork in the trail, you walk up to a rock quarry and there is a fairly well worn trail that leads right up to the mine. This is the trail we took down. Less bushwacking and scrambling for those who aren't up to it but still want to explore the mine!
August 21, 2016

The pull out on the side of the highway was difficult to find. The yellow fence is on the old mining road that turns back, parallel with the highway and ascends up the mountain. If youve reached the BC border,youve gone a bit too far.

Nice easy road to the first minning camp,but getting to the second one, there was no trail and quite difficult to climb up the very steep shale cliff and through thick brush at times.
Ellie & Blake
May 15, 2016

About 20/30 kms after Carcross you will see a pullout with a yellow gate on the right hand side off the road. It is easy to pass if you are driving fast.

Follow the trail around 2 switch backs until you come to a fork in the trail, you will go straight (right hand side) and follow this until you come to the first building which was the commander centre for the mine shafts. It's safe to climb up and explore in the building.

From there, we climbed up along the steep slope along rocks and what looked like and old wash out. We headed uphill and to the right in the direction of the mine shaft. We followed what we thought was the old telephone line, but we over shot and climbed too high.

Because we climbed too high, we had to descend over jagged rocks. I do not recommend this to anyone who is not physically capable of rock climbing without safety equipment. It would be considered dangerous.

Once we got around to the old mine shaft ruins, we explored around and in the ruins being very careful not to knock out any loose beams. If you are gentle and careful it is okay to climb into into the old ruins.

The easiest way down was holding onto the old wire, helping us on our descent. I would recommend getting gloves for this. Once down to the main trail, it continues to the command centre. Follow switch backs to the yellow gate!

I am curious to hike this trail again, but instead following the trail after the command centre to the old wire, and using this to help climb up the slope right up to the ruins. (the same way we came down)

No trouble with bears but we saw tons of goats on the mountains in the distance.
March 11, 2016

When I went up there a while ago, it was great, me and my buddies hiked up the road to the air shaft (first structure) we also found a tipped rack of core samples, before the first structure that is. There is also a mine shaft there it's been flooded. But from the first structure we bush whacked the rest of the way up to the main shaft. Had lunch, I went in the shaft about 100 feet, it's pretty sketchy. We grabbed on to the big wires then pretty much surfed down the shale slope with the aid of the cables. Over all it was a great trip, I will definitely be going up there again.
ziggy bubble
July 16, 2015

hiked up today,actually came across a brown bear out of no where. think he was more interested in me then i was in him, but eventually scared him off. nice views.
June 28, 2015

We've done this hike twice now without actually making it to the mine. The first time we wanted a fairly quick hike as it was late. We took the trail to the right which led up to some old mining carts etc.

The second time we followed the path straight and kept going past the first structure which eventually lead to a dead end. This was a very easy hike, more of a leisurely stroll slightly down hill. A longer walk then last time.

They were both aprox 1 hour with beautiful veiws! We will definitely go back a third time to actually see the mine!
Murray Lundberg
May 28, 2015

Hiked up to the mine solo today, for the first time in many years. There are lots of possible routes, but I went straight up directly above the concentrator, came back straight down mostly on scree slopes. I was on the mountain for 3 1/2 hours but did lots of exploring, had a leisurely lunch and took 160 photos. Very disappointed at the recent garbage and graffiti at the mine - I packed the garbage out. Great place to start the high-country hiking season out.
August 9, 2014

Great views on this trail. I hiked solo today and brought my bear spray as I had read previous reports here. Saw heaps of relatively fresh bear droppings about half-way up the trail and decided to turn back to eat my own lunch instead of becoming someone else's!
Beautiful lake, nice climb - will go back
June 8, 2014

Went out with a friend. Both had a day pack and I carried a shotgun.
We made it to the building easily and climbed up to check out the inside. We decided climbing up the steep slope from the building looked dangerous, so we went to the switchback on the way previously and continued up. We found the mine shaft hidden by rocks and if you continue past that, you will find an old trail continuing up the mountain to the mine shaft. Unfortunately after spending quite a long time climbing along the mountain, we came across several places with loose rock and a long way down. We made it within 200 metres or so of the mine shaft and decided it was too dangerous and rocks were sliding under our feet and we were losing our footing, so we turned back. Would love to find out how others are making it to the mine shaft!!
August 30, 2013

Bear Warning to everyone who is planing to hike on or near this trail.

Earlier this summer my Wife and I encountered a Bear about half way up the trail. It was really hot that day and he was in a shady spot off to the right of the trail. We had two dogs with us that alerted us to the bear. I fired off a bear banger and we cautiously retreated back down the trail. We were not followed and did not see which direction the bear had gone.

Last weekend I returned with a friend and we decided to explore the various mines more closely. One of the old mine shafts has been dug out and is being used as a bear den, it is further up the mountain and is up near the second switch back, the old shaft has a small spring running out of it and you can't see the entrance to the den until you are standing on top of the rock pile in front of the entrance.

Also there are fresh bones from I assume is a mountain goat, spread out over the area, it is a new kill as the bones are not sun bleached yet and the bear has cracked them open to get at the marrow.

If you are going up there make sure you are in a group and use caution. Black bears have a very strong odor so chances are you will smell him before you see him, bring bear bangers and bear spray with you and make sure you make a lot of noise on your way up.
Anthony DeLorenzo
August 18, 2013

Was up there yesterday. I followed trails all the way to the old tram and adit, much easier access than clawing your way up the steep slope. Especially when you are packing lots of camera gear!

Some pretty steep exposure and loose slides so be careful up there.