13 December 2023 – Klondike Snowmobile Association
It’s been an interesting winter in the Yukon so far in the weather department with limited snowfall and above average temperatures for many areas, and this has made for some challenging snow conditions. Snowmobiling is still happening in the Yukon though!
Most motorized multi-use trails in the Yukon are open for snowmobiles now, lake ice is adequate for snowmobiles in most areas, and most snowmobile tour companies are operating their usual winter programs.
Many multi-use trails now have a snow base on them and are rideable, however travel with caution as limited snow depth means some larger rocks and other obstacles are still finding their way through. Also strong gusty winds in the southern Yukon recently are causing some trees to come down across the trails, so expect the unexpected around every corner. Please report trail conditions including any downed trees using the fast and easy form on our trail conditions page at https://ksa.yk.ca/trails/trail-conditions/ and we’ll send out our volunteers accordingly.
Grooming has been limited so far, as with such little snow our groomers are easily damaged by rocks and stumps, which is costly to repair and also means potentially being short on equipment when the good snow does arrive. We’d like to thank our membership for their patience and understanding with this and we are excited to get our grooming fleet out in full force as soon as adequate snow arrives!
Please travel with caution in the busier parts of Whitehorse as when the weather is above freezing during the day and cold at night the City may partially plow and/or sand some of the more slippery sections of various multi-use trails for pedestrian safety. They have agreed to limit this to only the times and sections that really need it.
Also please use caution on the southern parts of the Copper Haul between the Mt. Sima and Mary Lake area, as fire break work continues and you’ll likely encounter plowed sections as well as workers and equipment on and near the trail. Earlier this month the Klondike Snowmobile Association has once again reached out to the project management for this requesting an estimated timeline for completion and some potential ideas for a temporary snowmobile route through the area, and has not yet received a reply. We’ll put out another news update as soon as we hear more.
Speaking of the Copper Haul, the Yukon Government is now kindly asking trail users to avoid the old copper pits as there are many hazards to the public in that area. The multi-use trail that previously ran through the copper pits between the Copper Haul road and Crater Lake has been re-routed to follow the Mt. Sima road for now. Signage has been updated in the area.
Many mountain riding areas are now suitable for playing in. However, with the weather we’ve been having there are some additional avalanche risks, so please make sure your avalanche gear and training is all up to date and please check avalanche forecasts and reports before each trip as well as be aware and be careful while riding!
Thanks to some early season cold many of the Yukon’s lakes are frozen enough to comfortably snowmobile on, however there is potential for slush and overflow. Many of the Yukon’s rivers are slow to freeze this year and are not yet suitable for snowmobiling on. No ice is completely safe so always check for recent reports, be prepared, and take any and all extra precautions when riding on ice.
Happy winter everyone! Please enjoy your snowmobiles, ride safe, ride sober, and after each ride let us know the conditions you encountered!