Day Hike & Glacial Swim in Joffre Lakes

Lytton, British Columbia


Added by Bryce Evans

Distance: 11 km (6.8 miles) roundtripDuration: 7 hoursElevation gain: 400 m (1,300 ft)The most incredible colour of water you may ever seeThree glacial lakes, the first only steps from the parking lotSurreal views and a variety of landscapes throughoutGlacial water swimming

Start at the parking lot off of Duffey Lake Road, and when approaching the first fork on the trail, turn left to find yourself at the first of three glacial lakes – a quick visual gift and glimpse of what's to come after a long drive from Vancouver!

Head back and take a left at the same fork to start along the trail towards the middle lake. The next half hour is a steep and slippery groomed dirt trail that is tough on the legs, but push through it!

After getting to the middle lake, the trail begins to level out and become much easier. You can stop here and take a swim, utilizing the long log that goes out to the middle of the lake. The reflections and views in this spot are incredible, so take your time, but remember the best is still to come.

When you make it to the final lake, you will come across a boulder field that you must cross if you want to make your way up towards the river (connecting the glacier to the lake) and get a higher vista view back down towards all three lakes. Be careful how you step – you don't want to slip or step in the crevices! Find a nice spot to relax, eat lunch and take lots of photos. You won't find views and turquoise blues like that anywhere else!

Make sure you bring enough food and water to keep your head clear on the way down – the steep climb down after the middle lake can be slippery and really tough on your knees. If you need to, skim through your camera roll quickly at the bottom to remind yourself why it's all worth it.

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Picnic Area

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