When Elder Scrolls: Skyrim came out on 2011, it completely changed the legacy of gaming. No one knew that this adventuring RPG would have such a long-lasting effect. To this day, countless people still play the eight year old game constantly. Skyrim has become a phenomenon of gaming, leading to countless running jokes as it jumps from platform to platform, still popular with gamers old and new.
Whether a person plays it as a war-game, an exploration saga, or just a beautiful walking simulator, it’s caught the attention and hearts of an absurdly wide range of people.
Even though the game has been out for so long, there are still hidden secrets that some fans have no clue about. After all, not everybody is scouring the wiki’s for the best, most secret loot. Others just keep things casual and that’s totally cool for them. Whether a fan is using this as a checklist for their hardcore explorations or a travel guide for things they’ve never heard of, there are more than enough hidden spaces for everyone. There are even more secrets out in Skyrim that this list doesn’t cover, which only proves the impressive, jam-packed nature of the game.
Here are 25 Hidden Locations In Skyrim Casual Fans Completely Missed.
If the Dragonborn becomes a member of the Thieves Guild, they can get a number of random quests and tasks for the other members. One seemingly inconsequential missions is from Vekel the Man. He says that he has a client that will pay good gold for unique tomes, and he particularly wants the writings of a madman. The quest marker takes the player way up north, to Yngvild.
Since the mission seems to arbitrary, any casual fan would likely let the quest stay ignored. However, deep in the ice caves lives a deranged necromancer with female draugr “pets”. While he was evicted from Dawnstar, he’s continued his work here. Directly east of Dawnstar, Yngvild is a fascinating (if not disturbing) place too many people miss.
23 The Chill
For most casual Skyrim fans, getting arrested isn’t high on their list of priorities. However, this kind of mindset has them completely missing out on the hidden gem that is The Chill. While most city prisons are just dungeons under a castle or manor, Winterhold has the coolest set-up. Far away from town, there is a frozen cave guarded by three Frost Atronach wardens. All Winterhold prisoners get sent here. It’s also a great place to pick up a bunch of frost salts (no surprise).
The easiest way to The Chill is just getting arrested, but any paragon players can also just head northeast of the College of Winterhold for awhile. Good luck walking.
22 Azura’s Star
Throughout all of Tamriel, the Daedric Princes have caused chaos for centuries. There’s no surprise that, by Skyrim, they still are influential and up to their old shenanigans. While no one’s trying to take over the world (looking at you, Mehrunes Dagon), they still have their little plots and machinations. One such experience includes Azura and the hidden location, Azura’s Star. After climbing an entire mountain to reach the Shrine of Azura, the Dragonborn can get a mission to retrieve and purify Azura’s stolen item.
At the end of the quest, the player will be teleported into the star and must defeat a sorcerer and three dremora. Once they exit the star, they may never return again.
21 Dawnstar Sanctuary
One of the hardest factions to join is The Dark Brotherhood, especially for casual fans. They may not know they have to help the bizarre young boy in Windhelm, go to sleep to be contacted, or not freak out when Astrid straight up kidnaps to a swamp to stab strangers. At any point in that list things could go horribly wrong. Thta could blockade a player from every learning about the Dawnstar Sanctuary, a location hidden under the aforementioned city.
If a person doesn’t join the Brotherhood and do all their missions, this sanctuary will remain a secret. After all, this hideout is not accessible until the end of their faction arc. All a Dragonborn has to do is a little massacring.
Kagrenzel is a Dwemer ruin found north of Riften. While the structure does have a location marker, a little investigation might be needed to navigate it safely. After all, if a player stands in a wrong spot, they may lose their life.
In the center room of Kagrenzel is an orb. When it’s interacted with, the floor will fall out beneath. If the Dragonborn doesn’t stand close enough to the orb, they will fall to their grave. A better standing spot will lead them to a chest and more impressive loot.
Furthermore, if a player doesn’t think to interact with the orb, they’ll never figure out the secrets down below. Sure, some of those secrets aren’t pleasant, but the point still stands.
19 Lady Of The Lake
Skyrim is riddled with Easter eggs, so of course some of those will be full hidden locations, not just passing jokes. One of the spots most casual fans will be shocked they missed is right by one of the most frequented hold capitals: Whiterun. Just northwest of the city is a small lake of fish and a suspicious arm in the center, holding a sword. This is a reference to The Lady of the Lake, from King Arthur, that extended the hero’s sword to him.
Though the sword probably won’t be that great, the effect is. Once a player takes it, the arm crumbles the bones lay flat on the bottom of the lake for the rest of the game. True hero vibes, eh?
18 Mistwatch Folly
While most hidden locations are exciting to find, Mistwatch Folly is one of those locations that can hit a player right in the feels. All of Skyrim is littered with Giant camps, where the creatures symbiotically exist alongside Mammoths. Due north of Mistwatch are some sulfur pits, where a sullen Giant stands next to the carcass of a sulfur-burned Mammoth. It’s safe to assume that while traveling, the big lug met an untimely fate.
More disconcerting, though, is that if the Dragonborn approaches the Giant he won’t attack, no matter what.
This specific part of the sulfur pits is east of the Folly, but if players go north of Mistwatch, there are ruins with aggressive skeletons. Fighting’s good for forgetting the sadness, right?
17 Shrine Of Talos Massacre
One of the main reasons that the people of Skyrim generally dislike the White-Gold Concordant is that it allowed the Altmer to make rules on religion. With their Talos worship banned, the Nords weren’t very happy. While most scenes involving this situation are about Nord protests or Altmer disgust, northeast of Pinewatch is the worst of it. For keeping their faith, several nords were brutally slain on their Shrine of Talos. Nearby, a Thalmor Soldier also perished from his wounds. Between his direct orders to end their lives and the bloody mess everywhere, it’s a pretty terrible scene. No wonder it’s an unmarked location.
16 The Iceberg Explorer
Within the Elder Scrolls franchise, the developers have created a rich collection of lore. Between old legends, long lost histories, and even dirty novels, the colorful world of Tamriel really blossoms. Directly north of The Tower Stone, one of the most well-known legends continues. In Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, the player is thrown into a quest to finish the crusades of warriors long gone, the Knights of Nine. In particular, the hero is to don the relics of Pelinel Whitestrake and defeat the final missions he never could.
This explorer was searching for those relics before his untimely passing. Though few remember those stories during Skyrim‘s time, it’s clear the legend persists. It’s a honorable, hidden throwback to a beloved Oblivion DLC.
15 Dunmeth Pass
Long before the time of Ulfric Stormcloak and Martin Septim, the Elder Scrolls hero existed in Morrowind, the Dunmer homeland. They helped fulfill grand prophecies involving gods and great evils. Saving the lands from blight and horror, the player becomes the savior of Vvardenfell.
As many fans are still very fond of Morrowind, there is a path heading towards it. Nestled in between the Velothi mountains and east of Windhelm, it is an unmarked locations that reminds long-time players of the old days. Of all hidden spots, this one is the most nostalgic. In a way, though, it’s also depressing, considering this is how many Dunmer ended up in Windhelm’s cruel gray quarter.
Beautiful and bizarre, the Dwemer ruin of Bthardamz can be found on the map. However, it cannot be opened without the mission “The Only Cure” activated.
Considering to get this quest the Dragonborn has to find a sick person or the Shrine of Peryite and agree to a Daedric task, it’s probably easy for a casual fan to miss. After all, it involves inhaling things to commune with sneaky gods. If the player does, though, they’ll head to Bthardamz to slay Peryite’s “misguided” champion. The ruin is very long and goes very deep, so bring lots of supplies.
Plus side, Peryite will gift the Dragonborn with a great shield called Spellbreaker.
13 Orc Strongholds
While most factions are perhaps a bit too welcoming to the Dragonborn, the Orc Strongholds will be secretive. Unless the player completes a mission for an orc with any power, the orcs will never let them in their tribes. For more casual fans, they’ll just shrug and move on. However, with several Orc Strongholds around the map and a couple interesting missions, this faction is worthwhile to wheedle into.
Help out orcs in the cities (like Moth gro-Bagol in Markarth or Urag gro-Shub in the College of Winterhold) and the Dragonborn will get their approval. Or, of course, to make it all the easier just make your character an orc next playthrough. They’re readily let in.
12 Bard’s Leap Summit
After making their way through the entirety of Lost Valley Redoubt, the Dragonborn will come upon this location called Bard’s Leap Summit. This is an ornate construction over a waterfall, creating a jumping cliff. However, it’s a fair chance any jumper might fall to their peril. Sane casual players might not take the risk.
If a careful jumper though, maybe even prepared with an invincibility spell, they can land at the bottom and meet the ghost that also made the jump. His name is Azzadel. Once there, he’ll tell of his failed attempt and increase the player’s speech by two.
Though daring and dangerous, it’s something all players should try. After all, it’s kind of thrilling to do it without any safeties.
11 Shriekwind Bastion Overlook
Shriekwind Bastion is a nordic tomb filled with vampires and other dangers. There are two entrances, one north and one south. However, the more interesting part is its outlet, Shriekwind Bastion Overlook. This area is unmarked and gives a great view over Falkreath.
While any explorer does normally end up here, the fun trick is that (unlike most dungeons) the top door isn’t locked. If a player goes up a mountain path straight to the overlook, they could skip the dungeon entirely.
Few casual players would figure out that kind of neat, time-saving trick. Someone can grab all the end loot and ignore all the undead things in the lower dungeons.
10 Pillar Ruins Puzzle
While most pillar puzzles lie underground in the nordic tombs, there is a rare, unmarked set above-ground in Whiterun hold. Southeast of Sleeping Tree Camp, along the road, is a rare pillar puzzle. If the Dragonborn notices it and takes the time to solve it, a sewer grate will open nearby to a staircase. At the bottom lies a skeleton and a chest, the perfect early-game loot.
Moreover, though, this is a fun Easter egg very similar to Fallout 4‘s Carhenge. The stones may not be in the perfect spots, but they are a bizarre stony formation in the middle of a field. Coincidence in a Nord-based game? Hardly.
9 Bleakcoast Cave
As one of the most famous Skyrim easter eggs, Bleakcoast Cave holds a special place in nerdy hearts. North of Snow Veil Sanctum is a small icy cave with four frost troll in it. Odd and harmless enough, unless frost trolls are the player’s least favorite thing. However, the cave has a secret. If the Dragonborn explores the whole cave, they’ll notice a skeleton frozen to the ceiling, hanging upside down, a reference to Star Wars’ Hoth scene. Furthermore, underneath him will be an enchanted sword. It’s all laid out perfectly.
Though it seems insignificant, even casual fans deserve to see such a beautiful, well-executed reference. After all, who wouldn’t want to take the sword and re-name it the lightsaber?
8 Hag Rock Redoubt
Skyrim definitely loves using its trolls to make the best Easter eggs. Hag Rock Redoubt is already a trip for players, considering the amount of gross and annoying hags are there. But if they have a keen eye, they’ll notice Hag Rock bridge is more interesting. One, it has goats just chilling around. Second, it has the corpse of a troll hanging out under the bridge.
Of course, this is a clever reference to The Three Billy Goats Gruff, who tried to cross a bridge only to find a demanding troll. One of them defeats him and left his body to rot, like goats do.
Considering the goat in “A Night To Remember,” Skyrim doesn’t miss any opportunity to make them the best part the game.
7 Silvermoon Shipwreck
Throughout Skyrim, there are quite a few hidden, underwater gems. One of the most interesting, and best hidden, is just south of The Lady Stone. In Lake Ilinalta, west of Riverwood, lies the Silvermoon. Wrecked there for ages, locals have only known it as a barnacle-infested husk for as long as they’ve lived.
Inside, the Dragonborn can find a chest, a leveled axe, and a skeleton in the captain’s quarters. He bravely went down with his ship.
With only a small bit of mast sticking above the waters, any player could miss it. Only the avid, curious divers will know on sight that they really should check it out.
6 Hamvir’s Rest
While Hamvir’s Rest is a marked location on the map, its secrets aren’t. To learn the truth of the ancient nordic tomb, the Headless Horseman can be found wandering Skyrim between 10 pm and 4 am. If the player follows him, they’ll learn his final resting place. At Hamvir’s Rest, one can find a master level chest as well as a detached skull lying next to a grave. It’s implied this is where the Headless Horseman’s bones rest.
After this, if the Dragonborn fast-travels here during the day, he’ll just be standing nearby, guarding his burial plot.
Between the chest and the reference, this is a marked location with a cool hidden history.
5 The Top Of The World
The tallest peak in Skyrim has a very apt name: The Throat of The World. Here, not only does Parthurnaax advise the Dragonborn in slaying Alduin, but also the player can reach the top of Skyrim. Unfortunately, most people miss the true tallest point and its secret.
Across from the word wall up there is the peak. If the player climbs up a bit, they’ll find a vein of ore. Next to it is the Notched Pickaxe, an enchanted item. This pickaxe improves the user’s smithing ability and (in a pinch) can do 5 shock damage to enemies. It is by far the best pickaxe in the game, but most casual fans completely miss it.
4 Yngol Barrow
Yngol Barrow is a nordic tomb that can only be fully opened with the Coral Dragon Claw. It is the final resting place of Yngol, a powerful son of Ysgymor. While getting into the tomb isn’t the hard part, being able to survive it is. This place is a hidden gem because it is one of the few places that greatly over-levels itself. For example, a level 22 player will encounter 40+ level monsters.
Even though Yngol Barrow can be the final destination for quite a few randomized quest, its leveling system makes it daunting for casual fans. Only the most dedicated players end up exploring the whole dungeon, defeating Yngol’s Shade, and earning his helm.
The eerie, cool astral orbs are only a bonus.
3 Bromjunaar Sactuary
During a Dragonborn’s time in Skyrim, they’re bound to run into at least one Dragon Priest. These are powerful creatures with even more interesting equipment. What new fans may not know, though, is that if they collect all eight masks, they can get the final mask, Konahrik. To get the final mask, the player has to head to Bromjunaar Sanctuary and find the wooden mask. Only once the Dragonborn thinks to equip it, they will slide through time to restore the dragon priest shrine, where they have to place all other masks to get the final one.
Considering the time travel and complicated steps to this place, it’s no surprise some people completely miss Bromjunaar’s true wonder.
2 Reaper’s Lair
Skyrim has quite a few renowned DLC, but a fan-favorite is the Dawnguard DLC. In it, fans get to play out the age-old battle between werewolves and vampires. One of the most fantastical parts of this add-on is the Soul Cairn, a mystical place with ghost dragons, humans, and more.
One little hovel in the Soul Cairn is The Reaper’s Lair. The Dragonborn has to explore the gothic buildings throughout Soul Cairn and get attacked by health-draining gems to obtain the Reaper Gem Fragments. When all three are collected, the player returns to the lair and places them in the receptacles. Then they face the Reaper himself, revealing the true nature of the lair. While complex, it’s something all players should experience.
1 Giant’s Grove
One of the best kept hidden locations in Skyrim is, by far, the Giant’s Grove. Though it is a fairly large, open area beyond Fallowstone Cave, the cave isn’t available. A player can only reach the cave when they meet Cheif Yamarz of Largashbur, in The Rift. Considering the orc strongholds are hard enough to get into, it’s not surprise so many people miss out.
If Chief Yarmarz agrees to take the Dragonborn on a mission to contact their Daedric god, Melacath, then they can get to the Giant’s Grove. Once in, it’s a fantastic place, visually and battle-worthy. The Giant Cheiftan can be a hard foe to fight, but the loot and experience are unforgettable.
Did we miss your favorite hidden location in Skyrim? Let us know about it in the comments down below!