3 Exciting Joffre Lake Hikes

Joffre Lake Hikes

Joffre Lake hikes are well-known treks in the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, which is located immediately north of Pemberton.

This trail is popular and heavily used in the summer due to its convenient trailhead access and stunning vistas. For the same reasons, it is a well-liked location for ice climbers in the winter.

Joffre Lakes are known for their pristine blue waters. The glacial silt or rock flour that was produced when the glacier formed millions of years ago gives the waters a Gatorade-blue tint when sunlight refracts off from the water’s surface.

If you travel during the summertime, these lakes will probably be their brightest and bluest due to the lengthening days and melting glaciers.

The Joffre Lakes route is located in the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park and was created to protect the lakes and the region around them. This signifies that the trail is subject to provincial park restrictions, therefore preparation is essential.

Joffre Lakes is among British Columbia’s most stunning climbs, yet relative to certain other mountain lakes in the area, it’s very simple to get.

All three lakes are passed by the hiking trail before it arrives at the campsite close to Upper Joffre Lake, where Matier Glacier towers prominently above.

The Joffre Lakes trip is only 10 km long, but it nevertheless presents a challenge due to the constant ascent and numerous steep areas. Three turquoise glacier-fed lakes exist, each more magnificent than the previous.

1. Location

The Joffre Lakes Trailhead is located in the southwest corner of the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in British Columbia.

It is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from  Vancouver Airport, making it an indispensable excursion for many travellers who visit British Columbia for its stunning, sparkling blue lakes.

Driving will allow you to reach Joffre Lakes the fastest if you take the Sea to Sky route in the area of Pemberton and Whistler.

2. Entrance

To enter Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, Golden Ears Provincial Park, or Garibaldi Provincial Park, you must have a free day-use pass.

Two days before your anticipated visit, passes can be bought.

The Day Use pass is a new initiative in BC designed to limit the number of people who can hike the Joffre Lakes trail during rush hours. Each individual must reserve a trail pass for the day.

Per transaction, a total of 4 passes could be reserved. Passes are not necessary for children under the age of 18 who have been accompanied by an adult.

3. Here are 3 Exciting Joffre Lake Hikes:

3.1.  Lower Joffre Lakes

Lower Joffre Lake,
By ArkXp from Shutterstock

The first lake, Lower Joffre Lake, which would be close to the trailhead, is the most enjoyable.

A short detour off the main trail leads to Lower Joffre Lake, which is a level 5-minute walk away.

Lower Joffre Lake is 1,240 meters above sea level. On a fine day, you can see the glaciers from the vantage point perched high upon the slopes, offering you a preview of what’s about to follow.

After seeing Lower Joffre Lakes, you can re-join the trail and head back to the forest. If you want to continue climbing, you will reach a meadow with mesmerizing vistas of the region around 20 minutes further into ascent.

On the journey between Lower Joffre Lake to Middle Joffre Lake, you must pass numerous creeks and go by a roaring waterfall.

3.2. Middle Joffre Lakes

middle Joffre Lakes
By maibin from Shutterstock

You may access the main route that goes towards the Middle and Upper Joffre Lakes by quickly turning around from the viewpoint at Lower Lake. 

After passing over a bridge, the footpath carries on along the lake’s edge. The track will start to ascend after five minutes and continue through a woodland.

The path leaves open for glimpses across the slope and gazing back in the way you came from after approximately 20 minutes, and you will reach a clearing. The trail is well maintained even though it climbs sharply and is used to traverse over a difficult boulder field.

The Lower Lake can be seen in the distance as the trail climbs via a few bends after passing close to Joffre Creek flowing past you to the east.

Only a short distance remains before the trail levels off. As you proceed along the pathway, vistas of the aquamarine Middle Joffre Lake are seen peeking through the woods just around the next bend.

The glacier provides spectacular backdrop scenery as the walk reaches a viewpoint near the second lake.

It will take hikers around 90 minutes to finish this section of the path, which is primarily uphill. At a height of 1,535 meters, Middle Joffre Lake can be reached by continuing up the trail.

The Middle Lake may be reached in 3 kilometres. The last drive to Upper Joffre Lake is quite short at this point since you have already completed the majority of the height gain. A restroom is also available.

Whatever the case, Middle Joffre Lake has a stunning view, making it worthwhile to stop and take a break there.

3.3. Upper Joffre Lakes

Joffre lake hikes
Photo by fblanco7305 from depositphotos

Following the walk from the Middle Lake viewpoint, you will reach Holloway Falls, a stunning cascade. You will cross Joffre Creek on a bridge after leaving Holloway Falls.

After a brief but more difficult portion of the climb, you will shortly escape from the forests adjacent to Upper Joffre Lake, at an elevation of, approximately 1,600 m.

Even if it seems like you are getting close, there is still a good distance to travel around the lake, which is on a rocky, narrow path.

The terrain opens up as you approach the end, revealing Upper Joffre Lake and glimpses up toward the glacier.

For a close-up view of Matier Glacier, the trail continues around to the southernmost point of the lake. You should carry your cameras there and take some amazing pictures of the environment.

4. Parking

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park has little parking. The normal and additional parking lots are generally full by 9:00 am on a busy weekend, and parking beside the road is strictly prohibited.

For trekkers who are keen on the Joffre Lakes but lack mobility, the Joffre bus is an efficient and moderately priced bus system that travels from Whistler & Vancouver to the Joffre Lakes.

Between May and October, it is accessible most days of the week and on weekends.

Only a small number of passengers would be able to board the shuttle, so get there early to improve your chances of getting a seat. Consider going to Joffre Lakes in the summer off-peak (mid-week) to maximize your chance of avoiding crowds.

The park’s splendour can be admired without having to make the journey up to the third lake. The second walk is often abandoned by visitors.

The first lake can be reached from the parking area in about 5 minutes, the second lake can be reached in about 1.75 hours, and the third lake can be reached in around 2.5 hours.

5. Best Time to Visit Joffre Lake to Hike

Because of improvements made to the hiking trail, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is accessible year-round for trekking.

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
By yongho Cho from Shutterstock

However, the majority of visitors prefer to go to the lake once the waters have taken on its distinctive glacier blue.

Only from the middle of June to the end of September can you see this magnificent blue lake spectacle. When it’s most likely that you’ll have a clear panorama of the lake and mountains, July or August is the best time to trek Joffre.

6. 10 Tips to Follow While Hiking in Joffre Lake

Some points to keep in mind while hiking in Joffre Lake are:

  1. Wearing comfy clothing is a good idea because trekking takes a lot of time. You can dress for high altitude locations in the summer with a shirt, a pair of leggings, joggers, tights, and a jacket as a backup. Layering is required for winter, and you should dress in a warm top, joggers or fleece leggings, and a windproof coat.
  2. Pack your fishing gear, towel, and fishing license since fishing and swimming are permitted in Joffre lakes.
  3. You should wear water-resistant shoes and stay away from uncomfortable or slip-on shoes. Every hike requires specific footwear, so you should check to see if what you’re wearing is appropriate for climbing or not. The greatest socks for blister prevention and allowing air to reach your feet are made of wool. This thing will keep your feet beautiful and dry during the day and you can even take amazing hand and feet pics. 
  4. Drinking water should be carried. You won’t find enough places to buy water sources on the tough hike to the Joffre Lake camping area. It is advisable that you bring water.
  5. You should include snacks for on-the-go meals while trekking. Pick goods that are non-perishable and lightweight. Although the camp has bear-proof food storage boxes, it is better to pack your food in a bag that you can carry easily.
  6. Wearing a thick hat or beanie will help maintain your head warm and prevent hypothermia if you visit the Joffre lakes in the winter.
  7. You shouldn’t leave your hands to freeze off while camping or trekking in the Joffre Lakes during the winter. For your safety, put on mittens or gloves made of wool.
  8. Always keep a compact first aid kit on you that contains necessary goods like blister plasters and safety gear. The ideal sunglasses for eye protection and viewing the stunning colors of the lakes are polarized.
  9. To keep all of your belongings secure, a hiking backpack is essential. The pack ought to be waterproof and feature wide back straps for your comfort.
  10. The climate has made it difficult for the trees at Upper Joffre Lake to grow for many years, despite the fact that they may appear little. When you go, avoid lighting campfires under these trees because that is against the law.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Is it permitted to swim at Joffre Lake?

Yes, swimming is permitted at the Joffre lakes, but keep in mind that the water is very chilly because the lakes are supplied by glaciers. Summertime is a great time for swimming at Joffre lakes.

If you plan to swim in the Joffre Lakes, remember to bring your swimsuit.

Q2. Is Joffre Lakes Provincial Park pet-friendly?

The Joffre Lakes Provincial Park does not allow domestic animals, per the most recent regulations.

Q3. Are bears present in Joffre Park?

Yes, you can find black as well as grizzly bears. There are many species in the area, such as pikas mountain goats, and deer. All hikers must be prepared to self-rescue because there is no emergency personnel available.

However, there are fewer chances to have an encounter with a beer if you are going for a hike in the park.

Q4. What are the timings of Joffre Lakes Provincial Park?

Joffre Lakes Trail is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. As a result, arrive at the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park by the scheduled times.

Q5. Is Joffre Lake Hike difficult? 

The Joffre Lakes short route takes between three and four hours to finish and is moderately challenging. There are some challenging ascents on the trail, which are not level. However, the elevation increase on this trail is only 370 meters (1213 feet) in total.

Q6. Is Joffre Lakes busy?

Joffre Lakes, one of British Columbia’s most popular treks, may get quite busy, particularly during the summer months (from June to August).

Around 200,000 hikers visit the Lakes each year, with the majority coming in the summer.

Q7. Is parking available at Joffre Lakes?

At Joffre Lakes, there are three parking lots: the main lot, the overflow lot, and the Cayoosh lot.

Q8. Does Joffre Lakes Park offer tour services?

If you wish to hike to Joffre Lakes with a knowledgeable guide, there are a few tour alternatives available.

In the End

Well, that was all we had to share with you!

Natural locations abound in British Columbia to satisfy your wants for a brief respite from the daily grind. A great park in British Columbia for a weekend vacation is Joffre Lake Provincial Park.

You can go on short hikes on designated trails or go camping in a stunning natural location.

So Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in Canada needs to be on your travel wish list if you enjoy exploring nature!

Read more from us here.



Pooja Thakur

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