Ice tests indicate Yellowknife’s lakes are safe to walk on

All lakes around Yellowknife are now safe for people to skate, ski, and walk on, measurements taken by the Great Slave Snowmobile Association suggest.

Ice measurements from the association on November 21 show the city’s lakes are all a minimum of six inches thick, the depth considered safe enough for walking. Some, like areas of Long Lake and Kam Lake, are now eight to nine inches thick.

The City of Yellowknife asks people to stay off the ice until it reaches a depth of six inches, as the water may not have frozen uniformly. 


“It may be six inches where it’s tested, but only four inches or two inches at a different location,” reads the city’s website.

For snowmobiling, the Canadian Red Cross recommends ice be 25 cm – or 10 inches – thick.

Last week, none of the lakes were deemed safe enough to walk on.

Freeze-up came late to Yellowknife this year. By mid-November in 2018, 2019, and 2020, almost all lake ice had already reached or exceeded six inches of thickness.