OverviewMount Brett is part of the Massive Range along with Mount Bourgeau, Massive Mountain, and Pilot Mountain (this group of mountains reveal the appropriate naming of the range) located in the Bow River Valley of Banff National Park . Banff National Park is one of four connecting national parks in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Mount Brett was officially named such in 1916 after a prominent Banff surgeon and Alberta politician. Brett was first ascended in 1916 by A.H. Bent, C.F. Hogeboom, K.D. McClelland, James Outram and E.G. Ritchie.
Alan Kane suggests in his guidebook, Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, to climb Pilot Mountain and Mount Brett together. I concur with this strategy being an avid peak bagger, but it makes for an athletic day in the mountains, gaining a total of 8400’ via my altimeter. When investigating the climbs on the internet and reading the actual summit log on Mount Brett, I found no evidence of anyone else combining the two. However, it worked for me.
The key views from Mount Brett’s summit include looking back north at Pilot Mountain, Massive Mountain and Copper Mountain, west towards the Goodsirs, Mount Ball and Isabelle Peak and of course Mounts Assiniboine and Joffre in the distance to the south. The route from the base of Pilot Mountain’s summit block is fairly straight forward with one suggestion for improvement over the route I actually did.
Getting ThereThe Trans-Canada Highway dissects Banff National Park east to west as you come in from Calgary. Continue past the Banff and Sunshine Ski Resort exits. Trans-Canada is a four lane interstate type of highway, but it will let you turn left across traffic into several different trailheads. The second one you come to at 30+/-kms beyond Banff is the Redearth Creek Trailhead. There are restrooms at this location.
Red TapeYou will be required to purchase a national park pass as you enter the park. This pass is good for all four national parks. If you plan many visits to Canadian National Parks within one year, you should purchase an annual pass. There are no permit requirements to climb in Banff National Park, but all camping is regulated. There is also a backcountry permit required if you plan on spending a night in the backcountry. Even if you use a hut, you will need this permit. This can be obtained via the parks website which is included in the camping section below. Park headquarters are located in Banff and you will drive through the manned kiosks as you enter the park.
This is active grizzly country, therefore, you should always have bear spray on your person. I advise checking with Parks Canada for any area and/or trail closures.