The Yukon by Mountain Bike

Whitehorse

Over 700 kilometres of trails, and growing every year. For most residents, it’s a short drive or bike to the mountain biking trails. Whether you like to experience easy green trails, intermediate blues or terrifying blacks, Whitehorse has them all. The main areas of interest are:

Grey Mountain

With road access, this mountain gives you an opportunity to shuttle your bikes up, ride down and shuttle up to your vehicle. If you’re fit you can also use the road access as an easier way up to the trails (just make sure to leash your dogs and keep to the right of the road!). There are also a large number of trails, so you can spend hours going up and down Grey Mountain and around the many lakes.

Mount Mac

The ski trails of Mount Mac make excellent uptracks for mountain biking. More cross-country-type biking, with exciting features, makes Mount Mac fun but also a decent portion of up and down. Mount Mac trails cover a large portion and here I’ll include one of my favourite trails—Blown Away. At the top of the Copper Haul Road, this technically fun trail straddles a ridgeline overlooking Whitehorse on your right and Fish Lake on your left. Although the road is getting worse and worse; a 4×4 is highly recommended to access it. Or, again, if you’re fit, ride up the road!

Copper Ridge & Hillcrest

I live in Copper Ridge and love being able to cross a road and be on the trails. My staple trail is a quickie, and my dogs love it. From our house, this great six-kilometre loop gives a flowy and fun down. This area has got some flowy features, some technical rocks and an icy lake in the area. Just be cautious when crossing roads to other trails and using ATVs on the way out of town.

Porter Creek & Yukon University

I started mountain biking when I lived in Porter Creek, so I have to say it was rather difficult. At the time, none of the trails were named or mapped, so often I was pushing my bike up steep terrain or getting lost. But now the trails are all mapped out and allow you to start developing your routes. However, as this backs onto the Yukon University area, you should know there is a lot of down but also a lot of up. You can use the City of Whitehorse Multi-use Trail for a nice smooth ride back up to Porter Creek.

Wolf Creek

Mostly I ride Wolf Creek in winter time on my fat bike. Nice flowy trails that are impeccably groomed during the winter. This multi-purpose spot is a nice hour-long loop that gives you incredible views over the Yukon River (I highly recommend the shorter loop for beginner mountain bikers).

Pilot Mountain & Research Forest

Just outside the city limits is a popular set of trails. Pilot Mountain is worth a visit just before fall, when the fireweed is blooming, and the Research Forest is a great spot for fat biking, as locals consistently groom this nice flowy/flat trail (I highly recommend this for beginner mountain bikers).

Carcross

A huge thanks to the Single Track to Success Project: Carcross has become a mountain biking destination in Canada, with one of the top-five mountain biking trails in Canada. Mountain Hero is a 29-kilometre trail with a 1,400-metre elevation gain and a five-kilometre descent.

It is my goal to one day ride this trail, but in the meantime Carcross is a great day out from Whitehorse and has shuttle access. Viewpoints are spectacular and each trail has its own unique features, from sand to rocks, to flow jumps and berms, to insane rock features.

Dawson City

These trails aren’t for the faint of heart and are certainly downhill trails. The Dome Road provides access to the top of the dome and is a shuttler’s dream. My husband Ryan and I shuttle each other, as each descent is about 15 minutes. So it’s not like riding in Whitehorse, where the many kilometres and hours of riding means stop breaks and catch-up chats. Dawson City does have people ride up the road or the trails, though (again, if you’re fit). 

My favourite trail is the Hammerstrand Mountain Biking Trail. A nice flowy, bermy, hilly blue trail that is a lot of fun and beautifully built. But most of the trails are black downhill trails on loose rocks, with steep drops, and I should encourage a full-face helmet while riding these.

Atlin

While not technically the Yukon, let’s just “pretend” it is. Atlin has a number of mountain biking trails and so far I’ve attempted the Como Lake Enduro Trail. I am not going to lie and tell you that it’s a lot of up. In addition to the up is a lot of down, with technical aspects along the way. If you have a fear of heights, there is one particular berm over the edge of a cliff that I had to walk, but Ryan rode and said it was very scary.

Using the Trailforks app can show you trail details and recent trail reports.

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