Fish Lake

Distance: 7 km
Elevation Gain: 323 m (1060 ft)
Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Region: Whitehorse
Date Added: June 22, 2008
Last Update: November 1, 2008
Winter: snowshoeing 

This trail starts at a high altitude and is so close to Whitehorse that you can get off work and be walking along a ridge in the alpine in no time. Once on the ridge, there are many options and ample opportunity for exploring.

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Scroll below photos for Driving Directions and Trail Description.


On top of the ridge, overlooking Bonneville Lakes.

Descending towards Bonneville Lakes.

Looking towards the south end of Bonneville Lakes.

Panoramic view of the Bonneville Lakes and Boundary mountain ranges.

Expect mud! Frequent horse rides on the trail chew the ground up.

There is enough room to pitch a tent along the Bonneville Lakes.

Overlooking Fish Lake from the small summit.

June alpine wildflowers in bloom.

Vibrant fall colours.


Ascending the ridge which surrounds Bonneville Lakes.

Snowy mountains watching over Bonneville Lakes.

Group photo with Bonneville Lake #3 and Fish Lake in the background.

Walking on the open wind-swept ridge.

Driving Directions

From the intersection of the Alaska Highway and Hamilton Boulevard/Two-Mile Hill in Whitehorse, drive 2 km north on the Alaska Highway and turn left on to Fish Lake Road. Follow this road until you reach Fish Lake (about 15 km). At Fish Lake, you can find parking right away, or try to continue driving for another 600 m to the trailhead along a narrower road that leads right, along the berm at the lake outlet. There is signage at the parking area at the trailhead.

Advertise your Yukon business here.

Trail Description

The trailhead starts right from the parking area with a well-worn trail. It is quite gradual at first. Once the trail starts climbing, it becomes more braided and can be muddy due to frequent horseback tours up to the ridge.

After just under and hour of hiking, you will reach the treeline with a short uphill section remaining to reach the saddle on the ridge with a view of Fish Lake as well as the Bonneville Lakes and Boundary Mountains on the other side.

At the top of the ridge you have many options to explore. To the right (north) is a nice ridge to explore. To the left (south) is a small summit to climb which can continue on to even higher ridges. Straight ahead (west) is a path down to Bonneville Lakes.

If you choose to go down to Bonneville Lakes, there is a path that goes down close to the lakes and then continues south to the end of the lakes. There are places to pitch a tent along the lakes, the most obvious spot being at the very south end of the lakes, about 6 kms from the top of the ridge. Add extra time for any additional exploration.


Follow the same trail as the summer path. The total time is roughly the same. Snowshoes are recommended and in the alpine expect high winds and potential wind-packed snow and drifts.

Comments / Trip Reports

Have you been to Fish Lake lately?

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Jeremy and Jen
August 27, 2019

August 27, 2019. Great weather 16 at the parking and 10 and a bit wibdy at the ridge with a frw changes of layers as some ice pellets came down midway. One hour to the clearing and ridge.
September 3, 2018

Hiked up Fish Lake ridge and to the summit (the one that overlooks the larger Bonneville lake) today. Saw a big caribou up I the alpine near the summit, beautiful rack got some great pictures with the caribou and the fall colours. Very busy day on the trail, not so much when going to the summit bu deffon the saddle and the first summit. Great local hike and popular for a reason. Stunning 360 views. There are loose rock sections that are pretty steep but overall decent, saw lots of hikers with poles and they would be handy.
June 17, 2018

Super muddy still and getting really eroded by the run off. Waterproof hiking boots or shoes a must. On the plus side you don't need to bring water for your dogs still.
May 22, 2018

Hiked May 20. It's dry for the first 10 minutes or so, but after that, what's normally the path is currently a mini-river on account of meltwater for most of the way up. Still a decent amount of snow on the path once you get above the treeline, but we ran into a horseback riding group on the way down that turned the pretty compact snow/ice into a slushy, muddy nightmare. Would strongly recommend waterproof boots for anyone planning on hiking it over the next while - there are some parts where you can skirt around thw water/mud by going through the bush, but even then, it's impossible to conpletely avoid it. DO NOT attempt in just running shoes unless you enjoy trench foot.
May 4, 2018

I've been here today (May 4th) and the trail was really good. Compacted snow on the trail to the top.
April 30, 2018

I hiked up on April 28. The snow is getting punky and its easy to fall through the top crust. The conditions were mixed icy, snowy, punky and bare ground. It was sunny and beautiful, and very windy and cold up top. Probably best to wait a couple weeks to fully enjoy this hike.
January 26, 2018

Went up today and the trail is in great condition! No snowshoes needed. The wind has caused some drifts past the treeline but finding the trail is no problem and they're no deeper than mid calf.
Michael & Shaeron
December 26, 2017

While on vacation in Yukon during September 2017 we were admiring the beautiful fall colour at Fish Lake. Chatting to someone there we were informed about the trail and decided to give it a try. Being somewhat older we found the path up through the trees a bit of a challenge but once up in the alpine the path was much easier.
Reaching the ridge the views were fantastic. It was somewhat surprising to see how much more sparse the trees and vegetation were on the Bonneville Lakes side compared to the Fish Lake side, and how different the landscape appeared on either side.
The were no bugs, the weather was beautiful and the fall colour was magnificent. The trail was definitely one of the highlights of our holiday.
Liz Barker
June 22, 2017

Hiked this yesterday. Trail is in good shape, mucky spots have pretty much dried out. Bugs are out in full force, we had clouds of them following us all the way up to the summit, we passed a few people who turned around and went back down because the bugs were so bad. Bug spray is ineffective, I would recommend bug nets if you're hiking on a calm day with no wind (which is unusual but happened to us). 2.5 hours from start to finish with lunch at the summit.
June 4, 2017

Hiked this early this morning (arrived at the trail head by about 7 a.m.). In spite of the early in the day start, the trail was still wet and muddy in parts, so be prepared for that. It was the perfect temperature for hiking, and there wasn't any wind, not even at the top! No mosquitos either, which was a pleasant surprise.
In her review, kyliestravel said it took her 1.5 hours there and back. She must have been flying, because it took me 2.5 hours. Granted, I was not hurrying, but I still think most people would need more than 1.5 hours to do this hike and have time to enjoy the amazing views at the top.
May 28, 2017

I did this hike after work on 24th. The trail was pretty boggy in some parts and elders everywhere! I am definitely going to come back through soon and cut down and break a better trail. The views were amazing, but the winds were insane.
The hike is super short - To the 2 summits and down took 1.5 hours.
Really nice hike, but the lake is still frozen
April 8, 2017

Trail was in great condition, nice and packed, Thursday around noon, not too icy. Extremely windy at the top, as usual! Some of the snow on the ridge has already melt or been scoured away. Note the access road before the trailhead was pretty rutted and would be a mess later in the day once things get slushy!
Jason L
February 19, 2017

This is a nice and straightforward hike. The trail is quite packed-down at the moment (no need for snowshoes). It's an easy hike on the way up, but fairly slippery on the way down. Once you're up on the ridge, you can walk along to the right or the left and enjoy spectacular views in all directions. It was very busy this afternoon - multiple groups hiking, recreating out on the lake, and taking photos of lynx spotted along Fish Lake Rd.
Liz Barker
February 18, 2017

My husband and I hiked the Fish Lake trail this morning. We threw on our head lamps and got to the top just in time for the sunrise. The sky was clear and there was next to no wind (which is not usually the case in my experience). The trail is packed and easy to walk on, absolutely no need for snowshoes. My husband and I both wore our hiking shoes, I also wore my micro spikes(the kind you get at Canadian Tire or Marks Work Wearhouse). I had no issues getting up and down but my husband fell twice on the way down in a couple steep, slippery areas. The hike is doable without spikes, just be careful on some of the steeper sections. We also saw 3 lynx along the trail, two adults and one baby. All in all one of my favorite hikes in the Whitehorse area!
Danielle koop
January 9, 2017

Trail was awesome! Packed until the very end which had some pretty deep snow, if youre looking for a leg workout though it should still doable. Got to the first peak around 2 just in time for some beautiful sunshine! Definitely do this hike if you're humming and hawing
November 29, 2016

What a gorgeous trail! My husband and I are in Whitehorse on vacation for a week and this was our first hike of the trip yesterday. What a great first trail! There was no need snowshoes yesterday as the trail was packed down (but it snowed today - so perhaps you will need them!) Just beautiful views at the top (along with a chilly wind once you exit the treeline!) A very doable consistent incline. Well worth the hike. Enjoy!
Jane Doe
November 19, 2016

Wow, what a trail
November 7, 2016

I lost a blue glove on the road. If anybody finds it let me know!! Thanks
Liz B
November 6, 2016

My husband and I hiked up to the first summit today (Nov 4). The trail was in good shape, packed down and easy to walk on, no need for gaiters or snowshoes. Some spots along the ridge had deeper snowdrifts but nothing crazy. I consider myself to be in decent shape and the hike was fairly easy. This was the first time we hiked this trail and all I can say I wow! Amazing views at the top and so close to Whitehorse. Great day hike!
October 29, 2016

Hiked to fish lake on Sat Oct. 15th in snowy conditions. Made it to the second summit at GR 845720 1580m. Great view really close to town and endless opportunities to add-on and make it a full day in the alpine.
Audrey Bouchard
August 22, 2016

This was a real treat to hike Fish Lake on my last day in the Yukon! The weather was about 25 degrees down the mountain, and up it was snowing and it was beautiful! It took us 2h10 and we spent 15 min up to admire the landscape! Very nice trails, it's a place to go and explore!
April 25, 2015

hiked to the second summit today. lovely day, lots of sunshine and a breeze. The path was a little slippery on the way up to the first summit and by the time we got back in to the tree line on the way down it had become much slushier and slippery - caution is advised until the snow is gone. Good pair of hiking boots is strongly recommended. muddy in spots but overall the trail was good and it was a great day.
Ian Smith
March 2, 2015

Real nice hike. It was pretty slippery with the warm weather so we wore snowshoes just for grip. Hope to get back again soon.
February 16, 2015

Great hike with beautiful views at the top. I'd say this is more easy to medium, particularly in the snow. We were advised by another visitor to park at the lake since the road up to the trail was slippery and only one lane. The snow was packed enough that we didn't need snowshoes until the walk along the ridge. And we were glad to have them!
Elise Maltin
July 29, 2014

Wonderful hike and perfect description. I just wanted to let you know that Yukon Electric is doing major work at the dike at Fish Lake. We parked in the big parking area and we were escorted through the construction area by the workers. It just threw us off a bit as we hadn't done the hike before so we weren't exactly sure where to go. Hopefully the work will be completed soon and it will be back to normal. We couldn't drive up that little road as it was blocked off.
Shailyn Drukis
June 22, 2014

Hiked fish lake yesterday for the solstice. The trail was in pretty good condition, not too much mud. Just watch out for the horse poop on the trail! The top of the summit was incredibly windy and nippy, but nothing proper gear can not handle ;) Incredible views! I really enjoyed this hike!
March 22, 2014

My dog and I went to the first summit today without snowshoes. The trail is packed nicely although the wind was biting at the top. I'd recommend some YakTrax for coming down though. Lots of opportunity to slip.
Marko Marjanovic
January 3, 2014

We walked up the Fish Lake trail today without snowshoes. It took just under an hour to get to the alpine and the trail through the trees was packed enough that we didn't need snowshoes. Once in the alpine, the packed trail stopped, and we tried to make our way further but kept falling through a hard crust that left us post-holing up to our knees. We turned around before reaching the view of the other side as the sun was starting to set.
Marko Marjanovic
October 6, 2013

There is snow up in the alpine now. No snow on the trail through the trees. Only about an inch in most places. However, in the snow drifts the snow can be about 6 inches - higher than hiking boots - so gaiters would be useful.
MorningStar Leon
September 7, 2012

My favourite place of all, and easy to get to, summer or winter. In summer, I really need mosquito repellent here!
September 7, 2012

My 4-year old daughter and I hiked the trail to the ridge last Monday and had a great time. It took us about 2:45 round-trip, including a 20 minutes lunch break. It was an easy hike, and perfect for younger kids just starting out. Great views of the area as well!
September 7, 2012

We hiked this in early September with our 3-year-old. He made it a much slower hike, but the colors were gorgeous, the trail well-defined, and there were quite a few other hikers on the trail as well. A fantastic hike close to Whitehorse.