Emerald Lake is a lake in the southern Yukon Territory of Canada known for the emerald green color of its waters. It is located 60 kilometers from Whitehorse, and 120 kilometers from Skagway.
Lake Emerald is one of those lakes that give postcards their purpose. It is not an activity centre; you can't rent a boat in the summer, you can't ice fish in a shelter in the winter, and there are no museums along its shores to tell its story. Still, it is one of the most photographed places in the Yukon. Emerald Lake was carved by glaciers 14,000 years ago, and today its green water and mountain scenery make it a highly scenic place. Are you planning to take the southern portion of the Klondike Highway? Plan to stop at Emerald Lake for a few minutes to take in the magnificent view.
Its color is the result of light reflection from the white clay and calcium carbonate deposits at its depths, which are a mixture of Ice Age limestone and calcium transported by water from the mountains. This high calcium carbonate content is the result of the erosion of the surrounding mountains by glaciers thousands of years ago.
Emerald Lake, because of its position along the Klondike Highway, is an important tourist destination. The parking lot has various signs explaining the geological formation of this lake and the reasons for its color.