The historic village of Carcross, scenically nestled between Bennett and Nares Lakes, is fast becoming an international mountain biking hotspot. Through a programme called "SingleTrack to Success", local First Nations youth have built an extensive network of mountain bike trails on nearby Montana Mountain. With its flowy single track and alpine trails just begging to be ridden, the mountain will thrill riders whether you’re a total novice or have been shredding the trails for years. You can rent a bike or join a guided tour. Camp in Carcross or base yourself in Whitehorse, just an hour away, and get ready for some epic riding.
The Nares View Trail is a great way to start your day’s riding on Montana. The ride starts with a short, winding climb through the subalpine terrain. Then the fun starts with fast descents through mixed forest, alpine meadows, ridges and rock gardens. An added bonus is the stunning view of Nares and Tagish Lakes.
The Mountain Hero Mine Trail is the mountain’s premier trail and was named by IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) as an “Epic Ride”. You’ll have to granny gear up the access road to the subalpine, but once you’re at the top you’ll see 360° views of the surrounding snow capped mountains. Spend some time exploring the old wooden mining relics before dropping down onto the trail. This classic mountain ride starts near the historic Mountain Hero mine and stone house and then follows the path of an old mule trail, once used in the construction of the Mountain Hero tramway. Your brakes will be smoking after a descent of over 1,000 metres, ending on the shores of Nares Lake.
Before heading back to Whitehorse, grab a meal at the bistro in Carcross.
On the McDonald Creek Trail, you’ll get a great single track ride that winds down a historic wagon trail, with amazing mountain views thrown in for good measure. This ride starts out with a climb up the Montana Road. It can be slow going, but trust us, it’ll be worth it. Once you reach the trailhead sign, you’ll enjoy fast flowing trail for the first few kilometres. Then you’ll traverse a boardwalk across a swampy area where you’ll level off a bit. Then it’s downhill again for a few more kilometres as you pass incredible views of Bennett Lake. When you come to a split, head right for the trail back to town.
Spend the afternoon riding the lower Montana Mountain Trail network before heading back for a bite to eat. On the way back, explore the world’s smallest desert near Carcross and stop for a photo opp at scenic Emerald Lake.
Back in Whitehorse, find a deck to soak up some midnight sun rays, enjoy a meal and sample some of the local brew – the city is home to two microbreweries.