• Snowmobile Sunset

    Snowmobile Sunset

  • Berry Hill February 2017

    Berry Hill February 2017

  • Berry Hill February 2017

    Berry Hill February 2017

  • Tartan Rapids at Prosperous Lake

    Tartan Rapids at Prosperous Lake

  • Cliffs of Blanchette Island

    Cliffs of Blanchette Island

  • Shore of Great Slave Lake

    Shore of Great Slave Lake

  • 2017 Making Trax

    2017 Making Trax

  • 2017 Making Trax

    2017 Making Trax


January 15th Trail Report

Good evening snowmobilers,

The weather Gods have been harsh to us this year yet now we have sufficient  snow and mild temperatures for a rough ride.  Get out and enjoy it!
This Sunday is World Snow Day so we’re organising a ride open to all members and the general public.  This will be a slow ride around the town trails with a likely stop somewhere for a fire and some hot chocolate.  Join us 10am on Frame Lake by city hall.  We’ll have you home before dark.  
With the last snowfall and now some warmer temperatures we have started grooming trails around town.  If you are interested in helping out the club let me know at michael_arbuckle@hotmail.com.  Bruce and I will offer an orientation to the groomer this Saturday and then we’ll send out pairs of volunteers for a warm and relaxing evening on the trail.  We could use your help; whenever available.
Here’s a short CBC story I read about a NB trail groomer while I was on vacation.  Always nice to see volunteers getting some publicity. 
I have not heard much about trail conditions this past week but here’s what I have.  Exposed rocks leaving Hay Lake headed toward Prosperous, also sticks and rocks showing in abnormal places due to low water levels.  Ingraham Trail brush clearing has left some nasty stumps so be careful when riding within the highway’s corridor.  The trail from the YK RIver to Walsh Lake is rutted bad from quad use; of course more snow needed.  
If riding in town I’ve heard that a city sewage line burst in the Frame Lake South district.  Exact location not known but I believe it’s on the trail behind Hordal, or maybe between Deh Cho Blvd and Kam Lake Road.  If riding here you might not want to ride to close behind anyone.  That s&@% sticks to everything.  
Pass along what you’ve experienced and I’ll share it with the rest of the membership.
Happy Trails and hope to see you this weekend.
Michael Arbuckle
GSSA President  

YK to Prelude Trail Report – December 24th

One of our members was out for a ride to Prelude and supplied us with the following trail report.


My son and I went for a spin up to Prelude on Thursday.

We originally planned doing the Hay Lake route but the portage leaving Hay Lake going to Prosperous had exposed rocks (need more snow).  We also noted a number of rocks sticking up through the ice on the south end of the lake that I never knew were there before.

We headed back to YK/Back Bay and headed up the portage at the top of the bay that crosses the highway and YK river and then on to Walsh.  There has been some brush clearing at the highway and the old trail that used to run adjacent to the highway is not really identifiable.  Lots of sharp sticks, brush and small logs to ride over right near the highway.  The portage from the highway to the YK river crossing was a bit rough but not bad considering we don’t have a lot of snow yet.

The  portage from YK River to Walsh Lake was nasty. Lots of fairly deep ruts from quads (I think). It appears that this portage was used to access Walsh Lake from the river. More snow might fill in the voids. If it doesn’t get any better I’m not sure they’ll want to use this route for the Frostbite 50 if they do it again this year. Rest of the trip was fairly uneventful.

Larger lakes have small drifts. Smaller lakes not so much. Portages still rough from not enough snow.

Dogsleds and Snowmobiles

Hi GSSA folks,

Just thought I should send a note about trails, snowmachines and dog teams.We’ve been running sled dogs in the Yellowknife area for over 30 years. Things have changed a lot in this time. There are many more people out on machines, the machines are bigger and faster. Our trails are narrow and twisty in places so you can’t always see or hear what’s coming. Also dog team travel is very quiet so people often aren’t aware of their approach until they are right there

Dog teams don’t have reverse or the ease of steering that a machine has. The front dogs are often 40 ft or more from their musher and a team is composed of many dogs that can react in different ways. Their ears are more sensitive than ours and they can be spooked by the noise. When encountering a team head on my advice is to pull off the trail as far as possible, shut your motor off and let the team pass. If you come up behind a team on a narrow trail it’s best to wait for the  musher to find a wide part of the trail or a pond or lake to stop  in to let you pass. There’s lines, harness and rope on a team and you might easily hook something trying to pass on a narrow trail.

If you are running a loose dog on a portage, leash or grab the dog and pull it off the trail so there’s no chance of a canine confrontation.

Some of the common trails that teams use are on Kam, Grace, Meg, Peg, Keg and out toward the Mink Ranch.  The Duck Lake , Mason and Jennejohn route, Bluefish and Quyta Lakes.  These are not the only ones used. I personally love to explore this land by dog sled might be on any trail.

Get out there, have fun, enjoy and respect this beautiful  country. 

See you on the trails.

Thank you very much. 

Terry Woolf

Trail Maintenance December 16

Our great volunteers and GSSA members were once again out spreading gravel to smooth out the airport fence trail today near Deh Cho Boulevard 

All the gravel for this trail maintenance was purchased using a grant from the City of Yellowknife


Burwash Point – Thin Ice

On December 14th a large group of twenty-two snowmobiles were passing through a narrows between an island and the shore near Burwash Point when a snowmobile in the middle of the group went through the ice on a path previously traveled by ten other sleds.

The water was shallow (four feet) and the operator was able to quickly get out of the water and the snowmobile was safely retrieved

Please be advised when traveling in this area 


December 12th – Trail Report

1) A dog walker dropped through to her knee last weekend on Range Lake just south of Parker Park and near shore.  This was likely overflow but still be attentive as the lake is shallow.

2) The city has a curtain installed under the causeway to Latham Island.   Its intention is to assist in freezing the ice but the water levels dropped so it has become a barricade.  The City is going to haul snow down to the curtain and bank up both sides to make it passable. 

3) There weak ice on Banting Lake at the North East corner of the big island at the north end of the lake.  Trails are open but rough.

4) There is open water hole if you are traveling by snowmobile, walking or skiing towards Burwash but it is at the Burwash end just before you start the Burwash-Hay Lake trail

Keep the trail reports coming in!


For those interested we’ll be putting out another (smaller) load of gravel this Saturday.  We’d appreciate your help with sled/toboggan, quad/trailer or simply a shovel.  The plan is to have gravel dropped off along Deh Cho boulevard at the road crossing.  At 10:00am we will haul it in towards the airport fence to fix some of that trail. 

A huge thank you to those that were out last Saturday spreading 2 loads of gravel.  The Range Lake airport fence trail will be much better for grooming this year and the big rock off Hordal is much easier to pass.   

Your board will be meeting this Thursday to set some dates for events this year.  Let us know if there’s anything specific you would like or if you’d like to host something.  We’re in this together.

Trail Maintenance

On December 9th a group of GSSA Members got together and completed some maintenance along the airport fence trail which included laying down several loads of gravel to smooth things out.

While GSSA Members provided the “sweat equity” for this project,  the gravel and materials used for this Trail Maintenance was purchased with funds from a grant received from the City of Yellowknife

There will be another work party on Saturday December 15th starting at 10:00am from the snowmobile crossing at Deh Cho Boulevard to lay another load of gravel along the Airport Fence Trail if you would like to help out!


Safety Hazard

Safety Hazard!!

Please be careful going under the McKeekan Causeway (bridge to old town) there is a huge metal piece blocking the entrance/Exit

We have contacted the City of Yellowknife and this is the “Curtain” that they put in every fall to slow down the current and allow ice to form under the Causeway.  Unfortunately the water level has dropped since it was installed in October and left it exposed,  the city is going to haul snow down there and ramp up both sides to make it passable (December 13th Update)


Trail Report – December 1


Watch for thin ice; keep eye on speedometer

Chance of flurries. I keep reading this from the weather forecast at Environment Canada and for once pray they are wrong. Most of our smaller lakes have sufficient ice for snowmobiling so now we need a record dump of snow – not just flurries – to improve the trail conditions. Despite the lack of snow your Great Slave Snowmobile Association has been busy.

Ice testing for the city has finished and results are available on the City’s website (see “resources” tab). The Frame Lake walking trail has been constructed for the season. We’ve been moving gravel to improve some city trails making it easier to groom.

Trail maintenance will continue throughout the season, so watch for us. We will begin grooming the trails within city limits as soon as snow conditions improve. For those new to snowmobiling in this area there are speed limits within the municipal boundaries.

The speed limit is 30 km/h within the built up area and generally speaking is within the area of Highway 3 and the Yellowknife Access Highway, west to the Highway 3 and Old airport Road, south along Old Airport Road and also along the east boundary of the airport to Kam Lake Industrial area, the Industrial area to the west shore of Kam Lake, east to the south side of Con Mine to Great Slave Lake, north to the north end of Latham Island including Mosher and Joliffe Islands, then west to the north end of Fault Lake and along the west side of Giant Road to the Highway 3 – Yellowknife Access Highway intersection.

The area outside the built up area, but within the city limits is 70 km/h. Therefore the speed limit on Kam Lake and Long Lake is 70 km/h as is the west half of Yellowknife Bay and the north portion of Back Bay.

Snowmobiles are prohibited on the roads within the downtown business district, parks and playgrounds, the cemetery, nature preserves and ball diamonds as well as the greens at the golf course.

Trail reports are provided by snowmobilers. The trail from Ingraham to Walsh Lake is open, as is Walsh to Prosperous. 
Ice is strong at the southern reaches of Walsh. Please be aware the water levels are low, so watch out for rocks and stumps in areas you may not expect.

For more tips on snowmobiling the association’s Trailriders website or visit our Facebook page. It is best not to travel alone. When travelling in a group, spread out to avoid collisions, on the trails and on the lakes. And most important, keep praying for more snow.

The trail report is published weekly in the Weekender. If you have any information regarding trail conditions please send them to michael.arbuckle@hotmail.com for inclusion in the weekly article.

Thank you

GPS Training by YKSAR

Yellowknife Search & Rescue has graciously offered to provide some GPS training for our members and for Yellowknife Search & Rescue. 

Dates vary depending on what level of training you are interested in.  Training for GSSA will occur on Dec 4, 5, 7 & 10.  On Dec 4th or 5th Tom will go through Basic GPS use, Dec 7th will cover the planning aspect of trail riding and Dec 10th will be a field session where you can test your skills on the ground.  If you know how to use a GPS I suggest Dec 7th and 10th.  

Please visit the training section of yksar.com for more details.  

If you have a GPS please bring it along.  It’s great to have one but essential to know how to use it.  Your trail logs will be helpful to the club in updating our map for next year.