Brew Area Trails
By any access route, the final alpine section before reaching Brew Hut is an off trail hike (or ski). Whiteouts conditions are common above Brew Lake, making good navigation skills necessary to reach the hut. A map (92 J/3) and compass are essential to have along. For GPS waypoints along the various access routes, see the Brew waypoints page.
The following topographical map shows the Roe Creek access trail with logging roads current to October 2013:
Brew Lake Trail
The Brew Lake Trail is only practical when snow free, and it requires trespassing on the BC Rail right of way. Park at Brandywine falls parking lot and walk the railroad tracks south. After a prominent bend right, and then back left, you will find the trailhead on the right side marked by flagging tape inserted in a small rock cairn. This cairn is about 30 minutes walking on the railroad from the Brandywine parking lot. The trail climbs steeply from here to Brew Lake and takes about 3 hours with day pack. Despite streams crossing the trail on the map, there is no access to water along this trail until you reach Brew Lake. Ensure adequate drinking water supply. The section from the lake to the hut is above treeline, has no trail and must be navigated on your own. There are a few cairns here and there, but they are not continuous. Once at the lake, don't make the mistake of trying to beeline it for the hut because of cliffs in between. Instead, stick to the mellower terrain in the basin west (left) of brew lake and then climb up to the col just south of Mt. Brew, where the hut is located.
If you don't have a car, Greyhound offers bus service (pick up and drop off) to Pinecrest Village, 2km south of the trailhead. Call to make arrangements for pickup in advance as this is not a regular stop. Find the railway tracks behind the residential area and walk north to the trailhead.
Western Forest Products has logged a short section of the Brew Lake Trail, about 200m long. There are several large yellow squares and flagging tape marking a route that climbs steeply up the left side of the cutblock. The trail here is still intermittent, but is improving as vegetation gets trampled down. The trail crosses a logging road and continues straight up, eventually joining back up with the old trail just beyond the clearcut. Note that the junction with the old trail just beyond the top of the clearcut is easy to miss when coming downhill - make sure to note it's appearance on the way up.
Warning: Parties parking overnight at the Brandywine Falls parking lot have been ticketed for doing so. This can happen even if you buy enough day pass tickets for the number of days you will be parked and leave a note on the windshield
Roe Creek Ski Route
This is the longest access route, but provides the safest way to access the hut in winter.
The Roe Creek Ski Route, a new route from Roe Creek FSR up to the Brew Lake has been marked and cleared for easier skiing. This route starts on a branch R-200 of Roe Creek FSR and wraps around the broad ridge running south from Mt. Brew on a bench, connecting with a meadow system just south of Brew Lake. From Brew Lake to the hut there are no flags or markers but navigation is straightforward in good weather. This route offers a mellow ski most of the way, and has very little exposure to avalanche slopes. It is is slightly longer than the historic route from Roe Creek, but is much less steep and does not necesitate crossing an avalanche slope. Also, this route can be descended from the hut all the way to Roe creek without putting on climbing skins.
The historic route from Roe Creek is to go up the Roe Creek logging road branch R-200 to it's end, and then climb up onto the top of the ridge that runs south from Mt. Brew. The ridge can be followed up to the alpine west of Brew Lake, and there are several places to drop off the east side of the ridge towards Brew Lake.
There is room for about 20 cars in a small lot just outside the locked gate and parking for Powder Mountain Catskiing 1.6 km from the highway. At one time PMC allowed parking inside their gated lot for a small number of non-motorized parties but as of February 2017 this practice has been discontinued. Contact info is above.
The route from Brandywine FSR to the Brew Hut is now heavily overgrown with alder and is not maintained. This access was once the shortest route in summer, and was used as the main winter access to the area. There can be considerable avalanche hazard on this route if conditions are not stable. The route involves a lot of travel along deactivated and resloped logging roads that are overgrown with alder, and considerable bushwhacking up steep terrain.
Drive / ski Brandywine FSR to a 3 way junction at 800m elevation about 5km from highway 99. Here, take the leftmost fork which crosses brandywine creek and continuous up towards Mt. Brew of the other side. This fork is narrow at first, and then becomes impassible to vehicles beyond the bridge, but there is an overgrown footpath through the alder and willow. a couple hundre meters beyond the bridge, take a left fork which switchbacks twices and climbs around to the north side of Mt. Brew. This section is steeply sidehilled, and can present considerable avalanche hazard in winter. The road ends at the far side of a clearcut, which must be climbed to the top, and then continue climbing up into the forest, heading right to a subalpine bowl at 1500m. There is no trail for this section, but look for metal markers in the trees, especially higher up. The subalpine bowl should be crossed to reach a shoulder above The Gully of Death. Cross through the col at the top of The Gully of Death and you will find yourself at a nice little lake. The new hut is above the lake to the right (west) and out of sight.
Datum for all waypoints is WGS84. There are presented in order of usefulness.
Waypoints for Hut locations
- Brew Hut 486307E 5543101N
- Old Brew Hut site 486690E 5542951N
Waypoints for traveling between Brew Lake and the Brew Hut in poor weather
These waypoints (WGS - 84) have been tested in a complete whiteout. Taking a topographical map to accompany these waypoints is a good idea.
- 0486728E 5541925N - near SW corner of Brew Lake
- 0486424E 5542101N - climbing towards upper lake
- 0486165E 5542366N - upper lake
- 0486122E 5542786N - slopes above upper lake
- 0486124E 5543078N - col between Brew Lake and Brandywine Creek
- 0486213E 5543061N - highest gap in trees below Brew Hut. This waypoint is useful to avoid the wind lip that forms on the north side of the ridge in winter
- 0486307E 5543101N - Brew Hut
Waypoints for Roe creek ski route
Route as flagged
- Switchback on R200 486050E 5539444N
- Trailhead on R200, start of yellow flags 486038E 5539473N
- Enter Old Growth Forest 486147E 5539420N
- Just below creek crossing 486470E 5539388N
- Bottom of open bowl and junction with previous route (orange flags) 486706E 5539497N
- In bowl 486858E 5539523N
- In bowl #2 486901E 5539590N
- top of bowl 486932E 5539637N
- end of a small draw below bluff #2 487004E 5539875N
- Reenter forest after going below bluff #2 487112E 5540107N
- a clearing 487070E 5540244N
- Below bluff #3 487075E 5540310N
- bottom of Talus slope 487065E 5540459N
- start of meadow system 487076E 5540751N
- more meadows 487056E 5540790N
- notch joins from west 486983E 5540869N
- cross small creek to East side? 486955E 5540991N
- More meadows 486890E 5541371N
- End of yellow flagging at SW shore of Brew Lake 486851E 5541748N
Other meaningful Waypoints
- top of bluff #2 487000E 5540070N flagged route goes below
- top of bluff #3 487041E 5540312N flagged route goes below
- Bottom of November 2004 flagged route 486544E 5538492N
- end of 2wd on roe creek FSR 486042E 5538556N
- roe creek / chance creek FSR junction 487139E 5535135N (49.96842°N, 123.17933°W)
GPS File for Waypoints
You can load this very detailed GPX file into your GPS