Mountain Hero packs much of Yukon’s history, culture, and wildlife into a strenuous yet rewarding ride on Montana Mountain, which lies 72.5 km south of Whitehorse in Carcross, Yukon.
“The mountain bike development on Montana Mountain has been a really positive experience,” says Sammy Salter, president of the Contagious Mountain Bike Club in Whitehorse. “The Singletrack to Success program has really helped local Carcross/tagish First Nations youth reconnect to a landscape that holds such spiritual value for its people. It’s a privilege that we’re allowed to bike in that area.”
Mountain Hero begins with a challenging climb along old mining roads toward Montana Mountain’s summit. Old mining ruins from the silver boom, which came just after the Klondike Gold Rush, lie along the climb. As the trail enters the subalpine environment, stunning views of the Yukon landscape stretch in all directions. It’s possible to spot caribou along this section, as well as the occasional grizzly bear, so riders are encouraged to carry bear spray.
“The descent is called the Sam Mcgee Trail,” says Salter. “It’s a fast and flowy downhill that goes from this stunning alpine meadow down into a beautiful boreal forest. The tricky part is getting back, but lots of people either leave a shuttle vehicle at the end or ride the road back to Carcross.”