Brute Mountain

Distance: 11 km
Elevation Gain: 901 m (2956 ft)
Time: 6.5 hours
Difficulty: Difficult
Region: Carcross
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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Scroll below photos for Driving Directions and Trail Description.


The view of Brute Mountain while hiking up the Montana Mountain Road.

Dropping down to the creek from the landslide area.

Follow along the left side of the creek.

After crossing the creek, head up the slope to the west aiming for the right/north end of the ridge of Brute Mountain.

Once on top of the ridge, follow the rocky slope to the summit.

Towards the summit, you'll enjoy quite the scramble as you make your up through the jumble of rocks.

View of Montana Mountain from the summit.

The view over Bennett Lake, with the start of fall colours.

Driving Directions

This is the same trailhead as for the Montana Mountain Trail. From Carcross, drive south on the South Klondike Highway, 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 and washouts.

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 another narrower by-road at around 7 km up the road. This road is marked with a wooden post and has signs for the Mountain Hero and Nares View mountain bike trails. When this 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 (versus 11 km).

Trail Description

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.

Comments / Trip Reports

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May 24, 2018

Attempted this trail on May 21, 2018 but with no luck. Once you get close to the landslide the remaining unmelted snow makes it nearly impossible to climb any lower towards the creek. For safety we decided to head up sugarloaf instead to maybe get a veiw of montana mountain but got pushed back to the truck by the insane amount of wind, snow, hail and rain. Couple more weeks of sunshine and it will be ready! Still a bit early this year for the amount of snow we got but even the veiws up sugarloaf were breathtaking. Cant wait to come back for more!
June 25, 2016

Did this June 23rd and parked at the 8 km point where the first washout is. I started around 4 pm and it took me 6 hours round trip. This was my 4th attempt on Brute Mountain. I had previously tried twice in September 2015, and once earlier in June this year. All three times, the summit was foggy, cloudy, extremely windy, over a meter of snow on the ridge and very cold.

Finally, when I was starting to think it was impossible, I got to see Brute Mountain on a clear, wind free and sunny day!! Beautiful hike and very fun in these conditions. Almost no snow left. I highly recommend taking the alternate route proposed on here (blue in the photo). Just keep following the road after the landslide at km 10 and you'll get to the 2 small cabins down below. They are easy to spot. Hiking from there is way easier. Even though it adds one kilometer to your ascent, you'll eventually save time.

If you decide to drop down to the creek below (red in the photo), just be prepared for it. You'll be following the creek from above (to the left of the creek) if this is the route you take. From where the 2 trails meet and where you cross the creek again to get to the ridge of the mountain (yellow circle in the photo), you also have two options. You can go all around the ridge like described here (orange in the photo) or make your way directly up (purple in the photo). Note that there is no more obvious trail to follow after you cross the creek. Also note that the summit you see in this photo is a false summit. This is 1 of 3 summits (the 3rd having the best view and is just slightly further).

I found taking the alternate route (blue line) and going straight up (purple line) was the quickest and easiest way to do it. Very cool hike. Great views of Montana Mountain, Carcross area and Bennett Lake.
Marc B
July 19, 2014

On the 18th of July, made the summit and back in 8 hours along with two boys respectively 6 and 7 years old. It was a gorgeous day that started totally fogged in with two creek crossings and sliding down snow patches on the way back. The top scrambling was very much appreciated by the little ones and we stopped just short of the actual peak as maybe the very last bit was a little too exposed for young people. Highly recommended alpine meadows, flowers and rocky peaks punctuated with splendid views from the top.

Note : We drove past the washout area through the bypass road but the section above the treeline was an actual running creek with much eroded banks and center areas at places. Had to bypass by going through the brushes and grateful my 4x4 high clearance vehicule was able to handle. Would not recommend unless familiar with serious 4x4 offroading. We parked where bypass road rejoins the main road, passed the washout.