Big Fun at Little Atlin Lake

You don’t own a boat or a canoe? No problem – Little Atlin Lodge is one of the very rare locations in the Yukon where you can rent a boat or a canoe directly on a lake shore.

The Little Atlin Lodge at km 6 of Highway #7 (Atlin Road) offers boat and canoe rentals on an hourly or daily rate. Your trip starts directly at their dock on Little Atlin Lake, which is known to be a fisherman’s paradise (and a fisherwoman’s, too)!

Last July, we had been very lucky with whitefish and northern pike, but the lake also offers good opportunities for lake trout and arctic grayling.

The lodge sells Yukon Angling Licences (cash only), which is very handy if you don’t have one yet.

Besides fishing we discovered the lake shore with a canoe. We enjoyed the landscape with Mount Minto in the back, watched bald eagles sitting on tree tops and tried to spot mountain goats high up on White Mountain. It’s only about 90 km from Whitehorse, but if you wish to spend more than one day in the area, consider staying at Little Atlin Lodge in one of their lakefront guesthouses. Moreover, canoe rental is free if you stay at the lodge.

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The Little Atlin Lake area also offers good opportunities for those who are into hiking. The more convenient of the two options is a stroll on an abandoned segment of the Atlin Road, that starts at km 9 on the Atlin Road. It’s an easy 20-minute walk to an overlook onto Little Atlin Lake with interpretive signs on mountain goats.

We scanned the cliffs with binoculars and spotted some feeding high above. A predator of the goats, the golden eagle, nests on these sheer cliffs. We noticed several huge nests in the rock crevices.

If you are looking for an even better view over Little Atlin Lake, try the more demanding hike up to White Mountain (or Mount White). The trailhead is located at the gravel pit on km 6 of the Atlin Road. A short (2 km), but very steep trail, takes you up to a Northwestel radar tower. You can make this the destination of your hike as the view up there is gorgeous already – or you can continue for another kilometer to the top.

The summit is located on a plateau spotted with white limestone rocks, and it offers great opportunities for exploring. One is advised to watch for mountain goats along the trail and asked to refrain from hiking between mid May and mid June in order to not scare off the mother goats and expose the kids to predators.

By the way: we learned that there are different opinions on how this mountain got its name: some say it’s the white limestone, other say it’s named after Thomas White, a former minister of the interior from 1887-1888. Either way, the view is awesome and it makes this strenuous hike a very rewarding day trip.

For more information go to and type “Mount White” into the search function.

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