Valerie Lake (Copper Trail)

Distance: 14 km
Elevation Gain: 100 m (328 ft)
Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Region: Whitehorse
Date Added: May 15, 2009
Last Update: May 15, 2009
Winter: ski touring snowshoeing 

This trail is part of the Trans-Canada Trail system around Whitehorse. It is a nice forest walk close to Whitehorse with views over small lakes and cool canyons. In the winter, snowmobilers use this trail, which helps pack down the snow so that snowshoes don't have to be worn.

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Scroll below photos for Driving Directions and Trail Description.


The path follows an ATV/snowmobile trail.

Valerie Lake in the autumn.

Rocky cliffs border a small stream below.


Valerie Lake - a little too cold to swim in at this time of year.

Steep, rocky river banks.

A porcupine's trail with a criss-cross tail track.

The sign at the opposite end of the trail.

Driving Directions

From Whitehorse, drive south along the Alaska Highway towards Mount Sima (the local ski hill). Look for the sign for the ski hill and take a right off the highway onto Mount Sima Road. Drive 2.4 km to a large pullout and gravel road on the right and park here. This is just over 500 m after a large gravel pit on the right.

Advertise your Yukon business here.

Trail Description

To find the trailhead, walk down the wide gravel road (Copper Haul Road) until you see a Trans-Canada Trail marker on your left in the trees. This is the trailhead. Turn left and continue along the trail, staying to the right.

Valerie Lake is the first stop along the trail - just under 1 km into the route. There is a picnic table and a canoe at the lake. From the lake, continue along the trail. At one point you will walk under power lines across a small clearing. Stay left as the trail to teh right follows under the power lines and heads down to the Copper Haul Road again.

Shortly after Valerie Lake there is another neat viewpoint of a large rocky canyon. Watch for it on the left.

Other than that, the trial is mostly through spruce and aspen forest with moderate ups and downs. At the end of the trail you will come to Mount McIntyre Road and an outhouse. You can either turn around and follow the same route back, or turn right onto Mount McIntyre Road and follow the Copper Haul Road back to the trailhead (another right) to make a loop.