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Brewer Creek trailhead sits at 7,280 feet on the northeast side of the mountain. It is usually accessed from Highway 89, but can also be driven to from Highway 97 if Military pass is free of snow. It's 24 miles from Highway 89 and about half of it dirt roads. Early and late season approaches may require 4WD due to mud and snow.
Vehicles with high clearance can drive all the way to the trailhead. The road crosses a couple small and sometimes rough drainages at the 7,000ft level, and may not be passable after heavy rain storm events for low clearance vehicles. That said, most of the time, low clearance vehicles can usually make it to the trailhead. The trailhead, if open, has all necessary items needed to climb the mountain: summit pass/wilderness permits/packout bags. Waste bags are inside the bathrooms. If the trailhead is closed, you can still access the mountain but will need to stop by the Mt Shasta or McCloud Ranger Stations for your wilderness permit and summit pass. Human waste pack out bags are inside the unlocked bathroom year round. You may have to dig in to it! Naturally, a much longer approach in the winter is necessary to the trailhead. During normal winters, upwards of 15 miles on snow covered roads is required.
Brewer Creek TH accesses the Wintun Glacier, the Hotlum/Wintun ridge and snowfield and Hotlum Glacier routes. It is the best point to begin for the Hotlum Glacier and Hotlum/Wintun route.
This trailhead is popular in the spring and skiers flock to this side of the mountain for nearly 7,000 feet of potentially amazing skiing. Many skiers arrive before the trailhead is melted out. They park as far as one can drive and then skin up through the woods. This is not a problem, however when problems do arise, it's usually upon the descent. Many climbers become lost and disoriented in the woods while trying to locate their vehicle. Most miss their vehicle too far to skiers right or to the south. Pay attention to your surroundings, mark your car with a GPS... do what you need to do to make sure you get back to your cold bevy of choice!