Hiking Fish Lake and Bonneville Lakes in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Fish Lake

Fish Lake hike is a loop trail, located just 20 kms from the Whitehorse city center. Due to its close proximity to the town, it is usually a busy hike (as per the Yukon standard 😉) on any day of the year, particularly in the Fall season.

Distance15.9 km
Elevation Gain721 m
Time4 hours
Fish Lake Loop Trail Stats

Hiking in the Fall season

Blue water, shades of Yellow and green forest – A perfect fall picture

Many prefer to do this hike after work as it is a short one and can be completed before dark, in summer months. There is also an option to do the smaller (7 km) out & back hike instead of the complete loop. Even on the shorter hike, you would reach the high point of the trail, from where there are expansive views of the Fish Lake and the Bonneville Lakes.

View of the Fish Lake gets better with elevation

The trail is generally muddy, especially after rainy days. It begins right from the parking lot and starts to gain elevation gradually. It is a well paved trail among the trees.

Easy hike amidst the Fall colors

After hiking for about an hour, you will reach the treeline. From here, you would be able to see the Fish Lake. But, there are good views of the entire Fish Lake as well as the Bonneville Lakes from further up. Remaining section is not too long; it gains elevation quickly to the small summit.

The Bonnevile Lakes
Let the time stop and the nature show its magic
Someone said Yoga !? Why not with a view 😉

Once at the summit, you can explore the ridge in all directions with different panoramic views.

At the summit

Amazing views means that it is time to pose for the lens!

Those who do not prefer to complete the entire loop, can start climbing down on the same path you came up. For those who wish to do the entire loop, there is a trail to the west, which goes down to the Bonneville Lakes. It will take you very close to the Bonneville Lakes. You can also camp here for the night, near the north shore of the Bonneville Lake.

We decided to do the entire loop initially, and set out to complete it as well…
But, the nearby storm approaching quickly towards us, forced us to turn back.
It is no fun to get caught up in the storm without any rain gear
No amount of pictures is enough. Hence, more posing 😜
Tired of posing? Never!

Overall, it is a relatively easy hike compared to other hikes in this region. I would recommend this hike to any beginner or anyone on a short trip to Whitehorse. You would get to see a part of the Yukon wilderness not far from the city.

Hiking in the Winter Season

The Fish Lake Hike is an excellent hike to do it in the winter as well. Based on the amount of snow on the ground, you could either snowshoe or do a regular hike.

Winter has its own unique charm that draws one towards it
The views are better in the winter as the trees have shed their leaves.

Never underestimate the Yukon weather – come well prepared and layered from head to toe. A hot beverage goes a long way in this weather.

Enjoying my boiling hot tea in the freezing cold

The good part about hiking in the winter is that you can most often take the direct route up instead of switchbacks. Though, come well prepared with proper research about the avalanche safety around the area you are planning to hike. Also, stick to the trails unless you are confident enough to take the direct route up.

It is a therapy – walking on the snow, in the woods!
Thinking how cold and windy it would be at the top 🥶!

Ensure that you start early, as the winter days are very short in the Yukon. There is only about 5-6 hours of daylight on average. Temperatures can drop suddenly after sunset and it can get bone chillingly cold.

The advantage of hiking in the winter is that you get the entire trail to yourself
Short video on winter landscape.

As you reach above the treeline, the views are simply mind-boggling. It is here where you would actually get to contemplate how unforgiving the Arctic is!

Nothing but a White desert
Footprints are the only thing that gives a sense of direction in this weather

Just in time, as we reached near the summit, the weather cleared for 5 minutes, so we could take some pictures of the lake and pose.

Fish Lake
Bonneville Lakes
Keeping the swag level high 😎… It is a big morale boost when your brain starts to freeze!
Arctic landscape in the winter… A stark contrast to the landscape in the Fall (just 30 days prior to this day)

After, a quick break and many pictures, we started heading back down. My hands were literally starting to turn blue by constantly removing gloves to take pictures. A lesson learnt – always get a thin liner glove with which it is comfortable to take pictures without exposing the hands completely.

Last shot before heading back down.

Driving Directions


Have you done this hike? Leave your experiences in the comments section below. Cheers!

3 responses to “Hiking Fish Lake and Bonneville Lakes in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory”

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