Hidden Lakes Trail
Difficulty: Easy - Family
Hidden Lakes is a recreation destination located in the community of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The lakes are called kettle lakes. Kettle lakes are depressions left behind by glacial ice melt during the retreat of the ice age.
The lakes are part of a protected Greenbelt Park Reserve which is a top destination for many summer and winter activities when in the Whitehorse region. The reserve includes and protects Chadburn, Schwatka, Chadden, Ear, the Hidden Lakes, Miles Canyon and Grey Mountain, as well as, a portion of the Yukon River. The Yukon River, the many lakes and the mountains located in the reserve are connected by a series of gravel roads and recreation trails.
The Hidden Lakes region is a mix match of eco systems. The region consists of marshes, ponds, south facing slopes, deadfall trees, flooded forests and kettle lakes - all surrounded by aspen and pine forests. There are picnic tables nearby, viewing benches, pit toilets, trail map and many interpretive signs. However, camping and fires are not permitted in or around the Hidden Lakes site.
The Hidden Lakes enjoy a good network of single track recreation trails used for hiking, birdwatching and fishing in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. The main Hidden Lakes Trail is a 1.8 kilometre loop route with views of 3 of the kettle lakes. It is an interpretive trail with plenty of signage explaining the evolution of the lakes, wildlife and the local fauna and flora.
The main loop trail is an easy grade, single track recreation route. Sections of the trail follow along the top of dyke-like grassy ridges while other sections dart in and out from under the forest cover. There are views along the trail but the best view is about at the half way point where one can see the local mountains and Schwatka Lake.
Birdwatching and wildlife sightings are possible here. Birdwatchers especially as there are buffleheads, barrows, common goldeneyes, ducks, swallows, kestrels, owls. loons, eagles and woodpeckers. Wildlife in the area may include sightings of moose, beaver, fox, bear, coyote and otter.
The region has many side routes and connector trails. Some are useful, some are not. Some lead to other Hidden Lakes, two of which are stocked with trout for the fishing. Another trail is the 7 kilometre Lakes Trail which starts from the Hidden Lakes area that leads to Chadden and Chadburn Lakes.
The Lakes Trail first leads to Chadden Lake. It is one of the better recreation trails in the region. The adventure visits with lakes and marshlands. Climbs through forests to the top of rolling hills with lake views.
Continue along the same trail from Chadden Lake for another 3-4 kilometres and you will reach Chadburn lake. There is a picnic shelter, canoe cabin, picnic tables, small pebbled beach, gravel parking lot and pit toilets at Chadburn Lake Day Use Area. Good spot for a car for one way trips.
How To Get ToHidden Lakes Trail:
Travel to the community of Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway in the Yukon Territory, Canada. Near the SS Klondike cross the bridge over the Yukon River and travel on Lewes Boulevard. Continue on Lewes and then take right onto Nisutlin Road. Continue straight until you reach Chadburn Lake Road.
(1)Travel 2 kilometres on Chadburn Lake Road until views of Schwatka Lake appear. Turn left onto gravel road to Hidden Lakes parking lot.
(2) Follow Chadburn Road for 8 kilometres to the day use parking lot at Chadburn Lake.