Montana Mountain



About Montana Mountain

Montana Mountain is a large massif of volcanic origin situated immediately south of the village of Carcross, Yukon. The massif encompasses an area of approximately 180 square kilometers. Its main peak, Montana, is the highest at 7243 feet, with several subpeaks – including Brute, Matheson, and Dail – also dominate the landscape.

Montana Mountain is a gateway between interior Yukon and coastal British Columbia/Alaska. The abundance and variety of plant and animal life found on the mountain – including mountain goats and woodland caribou ‐ reflect the contrasts between its valley bottoms and high alpine peaks. Featured in the ancient legends of the Carcross/Tagish people and the setting for the Windy Arm stampede of the early 20th century, Montana Mountain is integral to the culture and history of the Carcross area.

Montana Mountain lies in the traditional territory of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN), which assumed ownership of much of mountain through its 2006 land claim settlement. Since that time, CTFN has overseen the creation of 40 kilometers of multi-use trails through the Carcross Singletrack to Success Project. Plans for more trails and world-class adventure are in the works, so stay tuned……

Visitor Facilities

There is signage found throughout the Montana Mountain trail network, including trailhead kiosks where trail users can orient themselves and sign/submit waivers.

There are no washroom facilities on the mountain at this time. Public washrooms are available in Carcross.

The Montana Mountain road is unmaintained and in rough condition. 4x4 vehicles with high clearance are strongly recommended in summer; in wintertime, the road is passable by snowmobile only.

Since 2006, over 15 youth – most of them Carcross/Tagish - have worked on Montana Mountain building trails through the Carcross Singletrack to Success (S2S) Project. As of 2011, about 40 kilometers of trail had been built and/or restored for the enjoyment of bikers, hikers, snowshoers, and skiers. We are proud of what our youth have accomplished.

CTFN extends its sincere gratitude to those organizations that have supported the S2S initiative to date, including:

  • Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
  • Sport and Recreation Branch, Government of Yukon
  • Community Development Fund, Government of Yukon
  • Tagish Lake Gold Corporation

We would also like to thank the many volunteers who have lent a helping hand over the years.

According to Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) legend, Montana Mountain is one of four peaks from which Game Mother hung a hammock to host a celebration for her animal creations before they spread out across the land to live. A spiritual cornerstone, the mountain also provided food, medicines, and refuge for the Carcross/Tagish people.

The discovery of silver in the steep cliff faces on the east side of Montana Mountain triggered a staking rush in 1904. A brash financier from Montana, John Conrad, consolidated the mining claims and built an extensive network of mule trails, tramways, and wagon roads to transport the valuable ore off the mountain. Conrad’s promise of untold riches drew thousands to the shores of Windy Arm.

The Windy Arm stampede was short-lived, but smaller scale mining activity persisted on the mountain for decades. Foot and wagon trails were abandoned as modern roads were built. After the last mine closed in the 1980s, the mountain continued to lure small numbers of 4x4 adventurers, hikers, and skiers. The spiritual energy that First Nation people had long recognized in the mountain even compelled one man to build a rustic Buddhist temple in the alpine.

A century after their construction, traces of the Conrad-era trails could still be found. CTFN took back the mountain in its land claim settlement in 2006 and set out to restore the historic trails and build anew. Since 2006, Carcross/Tagish youth have gone to work each summer building trails and reconnecting with their ancestral lands through the Carcross Singletrack to Success Project.

We hope that you enjoy all of the beauty and adventure that our mountain and traditional territory have to offer.