Logan Arkell wetlands

Mount McIntyre recreation area, a neighbourhood recreation

Mount McIntyre recreation area

Document history: Last changes on February 10, 2014

The Logan Arkell Wetlands are part of the Hillcrest Meltwater Channel. The neighbourhoods of Copper Ridge, Arkell, Ingram, Logan and McIntyre all back onto the a high bank above the wetlands. There are over 4,000 residents. Walking opportunities depend on the seasons.

Looking at the area in a broader picture, to encourage active recreation, the Mount McIntyre trails need to become even more of a destination.

The Whitehorse cross-country Ski Club/Whitehorse Nordic Centre trails are a major asset to our neighbourhoods. There is much discussion happening around ways of recognizing neighbourhood use of city trails embedded within the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club trail system. Stay tuned.

This area also addressed in part by the walking above the airport page.


This page is a backgrounder to the City's upcoming Park planning initiatives, as well as a focus on the need for a walking trail network on Mount McIntyre and the importance on having a specific voice for walking here. It's meant to prompt an initiative of jointly looking at the broader Mount McIntyre area from a stewardship point of view.

The Mount McIntyre area is a part of Whitehorse I've been interested in for some time. I actually started a list a few years ago with this simple list: Why this project?. To better understand the area, I'll look at mapping of physical and organizational/planning aspects and listing user group interests. The page will be updated as I learn about other materials, topics or different user activities.

"Get to the Ridge" route When we first moved to Hillcrest, a friend, looking out our kitchen window at the ridge of Mount McIntyre, remarked that it would be a nice hike to get up there starting from our house. Still today, I scheme for a best way to do this. With a good trail route, it's about a 15-km walk from our house to the summit of Mount McIntyre. At differing times, we've walked most of the way on neighbourhood trails, wood cutting trails, cutlines, ski trails and old mining roads. We sometimes drive up the Fish Lake Road and snowshoe on the ridge.

On the map to the right, the orange route, is my "Get to the Ridge" route. Ski Club trails are green, motorized trails are red, and yellow trails are the new proposed city non-motorized trails.

In 2012, the ski club worked on a new Skyline trail. In the summer of 2013, the City's trail crew completed a crossing of the Arkell wetlands between Copper Ridge subdivision and the ski trails. There's also a new trail called Starbuck's Revenge in the summit area. (These new trails and crossing are not yet shown on the map yet.)

A walking trail still isn't in place. In the summer, there's still no way across the McIntyre wetlands. In the winter, walkers are not allowed to cross over the ski trail area. Nor would walkers be allowed to use the ski trails up the mountain.

The slopes of Mount McIntyre are rugged, though there has been development in the past and more to come. The recreation area serves thousands of people. This page is an attempt to perk people's interest to understand the area. For general public use, trail making, trail marking and interpretation will be needed to allow them to confidently explore the land. This is an excellent place to think about the value of this area for walking tourism.

A terrifying, fascinating timelapse of 30 years of human impact on earth — go to the map at the bottom of this article; click until Whitehorse and the Mount McIntyre area is showing; then run the automation to see the growth of development here. One result of all this new development is that a number of neighbourhoods in the Copper Ridge area have not had time to really develop community associations, walking opportunities and trail making.

Natural history

Check out my Nature, geology, geography page for a general look at people, wildlife, birds, plants, geography and water in the Whitehorse area. However, I will highlight a few significant aspects below since they are such strong factors in the area. Still to come, I'm trying to get the fire history for the area.


As our use of land increases, we will inevitably see conflict with wildlife values. The references below give a sense that this happens both within established neighbourhoods and 'wilderness'.

The first people in the area

I find myself often wondering about the early people here and what their lives were like.

The map to the right is roughly copied from First Nation traditional territories mapping. Copying over to Google Earth is crude at the moment for me. The Kwanlin Dün First Nation's traditional territory (pink outline) and Ta'an traditional territory (yellow outline) are so much larger than our local Whitehorse (green line is city limits). The Yukon-wide overview shows that other First Nation Traditional territories are at work here also.

Of course, the focus of this site is walking. I'm very curious where the lines of the traditional trails would go. (Hopefully, KML lines of mapping data can also be downloaded from Environment's site in the future.)

The land

A big story in this area is the geology. This part of the southern Yukon is an amazing land. How come our mountains are not better known? The map on the right shows some of the western names, based on the Gazetteer of Yukon.

The Whitehorse Copper Belt

The big story here is of the minerals that made early western people stay. Mines, roads and ruins of small cabins are found throughout the area. (A side project would be to make KML files of the mining features).


For walkers, streams, wetlands and other water bodies make non-winter walking difficult. The newly built, vastly improved Copper Ridge to Porcupine Ridge trail shows that a wetland crossing can add greatly to a community wellness approach to life.


Water from Mount McIntyre enters a number of watersheds (map to the right): Fish Lake, MacRae lakes, McLean Lake and McIntyre Creek (includes Yukon Electric's Fish Lake power plant drainage). A small number also rise on the slopes: Hillcrest Meltwater Channel, Porter Creek and Canyon, Copper and Basalt creeks.

I've also attached a map highlighting water — I left the McIntyre Creek and MacLean Lake watersheds showing as outlines to help understand the networks of the water flow.

2010 OCP designated parks

The 2010 OCP designated 5 formal city parks. See separate page for more background, maps


A sampler of groups which have taken stewardship roles in the area

There's also a more trail-based approach to looking at an area. I imagine this list could expand:

Land uses in the general area

First Nation Settlement Lands (map right). Ta'an Kwäch'än land is shown as orange, Kwanlin Dün is purple. Note that accuracy is rough as data copied from PDF maps. KML versions of these areas would be very useful, especially when trying to show small blocks of land.

In this map (left), bright pink is the ski club (see next section for more on this), pale brown is residential areas, pale pink is industrial/commercial/public uses. Pale yellow is crown grants. This is a very rough map to give a sense of development.




1987 Firearms Bylaw 2006-17
... to prevent or regulate the firing of guns or other firearms,...within the City of Whitehorse.
"Firearm" shall include airguns, air-pistols, BB gun, BB pistol or any spring-loaded or spring-fired type of weapon designed to fire a BB pellet, shot or slug and any bow and sharp or metal clad arrow or sling shot.
3. No person shall fire or discharge a firearm within the limits of the City of Whitehorse unless authorized by the Chief Constable.

Whitehorse Cross-country Ski Club/Whitehorse Nordic Centre

Discussion document:

Snowshoe, Hike in Mount McIntyre Recreation Area


Friends of McIntyre Creek (FOMC)

Friends of McIntyre Creek (FOMC) is a group of people working to care for the McIntyre Creek watershed.

Above-the-airport neigbourhoods (ATA)

Above-the-airport (ATA) Trails and Greenspaces Committee is a group of Hillcrest and Granger and Copper Ridge people who have been involved in looking at the ATA area, in part the wetlands bounding the Copper Ridge – McIntyre area and the slopes of Mt McIntyre, in broad terms of both stewardship and recreation use. Kwanlin Dun First Nation is an ATA neighbourhood, a large land owner and the park is in their traditional area.

Here's a recent update to walking in the area.

One of our initial steps was looking at trails at Paddy's Pond, and the dangers of motor vehicles on the Tobbagan hill.

The City is presently digesting the results of an "Above the Airport" area motorized/non-motorized trail network and we await the next steps.

Other thoughts

We have 3 museums in the area


There are paved, dirt, rough and very rough roads, ski, motorized, bike, walk trails. I'll try to make a couple of maps soon.

Document history

February 10, 2014. some updates around integrating an updated look at the above-the-airport area.

November 17, 2013. updated part of WCCSC section

November 9, 2013. I've merged the old Logan Arkell Wetlands page into this page for simplicity in maintenance. I also updated winter use rules for WCCSC area.

November 7, 2013. Endowment lands finalized. How this will affect McIntyre Creek Park will be interesting to watch. Will it clear a hurdle for the city to again try to open Porter Creek D as Whistle Bend fills? Stay tuned....

October 24, 2013. Background section rewritten.

October 22, 2013. A couple of maps yet to show —city Zoning and quarries. But for now, I'll make this public and see what feedback I get. I'm sure I've missed things, and mapping is a work in progress.

October 21, 2013. Page put on-line.