Total Distance: 17 km
Return Time: 2-4 hours
Elevation Gain: 596 m
Traditional Territory: KDFN
Named after the creek that flows below the ridge, Jackson Ridge (not an official name) is an easy hike close to Whitehorse. There is no real bushwhacking and the ridge has panoramic views from the Fish Lake area to the Ibex Valley. There are also some impressive rocky ledges and cliffs on the other side of the ridge (SW side). A mountain bike is a great way to shave off 2.5 km of the hike (each way), as the first section is on mostly flat dirt road. The hike is about 2 hours with a bike, and up to 4 hours by simply hiking the whole route.
Drive down the Fish Lake road for 9.7 km and turn right on the Jackson Lake Road. You'll reach a fork in the road after 3 km - stay straight / left. You'll reach another fork in the road after 400 meters, stay left again, driving uphill. At the top of the hill (400 meters), pull over and park near the small footbridge.
Cross the bridge and look to your right for a rough ATV trail through the forest. It may be hard to see the entrance to the path, but once you find it, the path is wide and easy to follow.
After 500 meters, you will meet up with the main road that leads to Franklin Lake. Turn left and follow this road along the side of Franklin Lake. You will eventually come to a creek (2.5 km from where you parked). Don't cross it, but rather take the road on your right, just before the creek. If you decided to bike, this is a good place to stash your bikes. It isn't recommended to push your bike up this rougher road, as the road is steep with loose rock, and you may end up doing more pushing than riding.
Walk up the rocky road, as it eventually leads into the sub-alpine. Jackson Ridge will appear on your left. Continue following the road for 4.4 km from the creek until you are at the far end of the ridge, and the road takes a sharp left turn.
Leave the road at this point, and head towards the ridge through the sub-alpine vegetation. You should be able to piece together openings through the vegetation without having to bushwhack. Soon you will be out of the bushes and in the alpine. Once at the base of the ridge, you can choose your route up to the top of the ridge. Avoiding the rocks and staying on the alpine vegetation is the easiest route up.
Once on the ridge, take in the views of the Ibex Valley to the northwest and Fish Lake and Bonneville Lake area to the southeast. You can hike back along the ridge a bit and check out the rocky ledges and cliffs on the other side. Return by the same route.
Pippa Lawson October 4, 2022
By walking a couple hundred metres further along the road (past the flagged turnoff point), you can avoid bushwhacking and rocks - there’s a wide open grassy route (old ATV track) that leads right up to the ridge, albeit further north. Easy walking!
Alex F August 28, 2022
Biked and then hiked as described here. It was great with beautiful views.
No problem with flooding when we went.
Yukon Hiking July 21, 2022
Notice regarding construction on the Haeckel Hill Access Road affecting the FISH LAKE ROAD (and therefore potentially access to hikes like Fish Lake & Jackson Ridge ):
INFO FROM Eagle Hill Energy Limited Partnership:
Over the next two years, there will be periodic road closures in the Haeckel Hill area as we build the wind turbine project. Along with the wind turbine components, heavy machinery such as excavators, dump trucks, graders, and concrete trucks will be brought into the area to improve road conditions during this time. We understand the inconvenience that road closures may impose on the local community, and we are asking for the public’s partnership and support during this time to keep the area safe.
Check out the website for regular updates before you head out: https://www.chuniikwan.ca/eagle-hill-energy
Kat July 18, 2022
We tried walking through the overflowed lake, but found it to be between thigh and waist deep for several hundred meters, and our bikes were floating. We found a few lesser used roads to connect on the non lake side that enabled us to get around the lake ok.
YUKON HIKING July 12, 2022
Laura thank you for the update! Water levels in the area are controlled by ATCO Electric as part of the larger Fish Lake Hydro system, which affects water levels in Louise Lake/Jackson Lake and Franklin Lake. This may result in water levels in Franklin Lake rising over the road at times.
Laura July 4, 2022
You may need some triathlon skills for this hike! Tried to hike it today, biked about a km down the road before the lake had taken it over.