Here are YK’s first ice thickness measurements this fall

The Great Slave Snowmobile Association has released fall 2019’s first ice thickness measurements for Yellowknife lakes.

The association, working with the City of Yellowknife, samples the ice at a range of points to help determine whether it’s safe for people to walk or ride on the surface.

Measurements from Sunday, November 3, suggest that – generally speaking – the ice remains thin in most locations, particularly Yellowknife Bay, Kam Lake, and Grace Lake.


A full list is shown at the foot of this report.

Signs warning of thin ice are posted in some locations and, as of last week, were already being ignored.

Residents and tourists alike are asked by the City to keep off the ice until the thickness reaches a depth of six inches, which is considered safe for walking, skiing, and snowmobiling.

Data from the Great Slave Snowmobile Association shows Niven Lake, Range Lake, and Frame Lake all met that six-inch requirement – barely – on Sunday.

Yellowknife Bay, however, is nowhere near a safe ice depth. Ice thickness measured just one inch by the boat launch and two inches next to the Air Tindi floatbase. The ice was two inches thick near the Dettah ice road entrance off School Draw Avenue.


Back Bay registered a depth of four inches at two different points, as did Long Lake.

Grace Lake and Kam Lake were too thin to test, the association report. Rat Lake, near Tin Can Hill, had reached a six-inch depth at its centre.

The measurements are ordinarily updated weekly while ice develops until all lakes are safe for people to cross. Watch the City of Yellowknife’s website or the Great Slave Snowmobile Association’s Facebook page for more details.