Hike to Joffre Lakes

Squamish-Lillooet C, British Columbia

4.5/5
based on 8 reviews

Details

Distance

6.2 miles

Elevation Gain

1200 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Emily Haggar

Easy access to some of the most spectacular scenery in the Coast Mountains. 10km round trip to Upper Joffre Lake, 400m elevation gain (1200' gain). A great hike in summer, and a fun snowshoe in winter. Three beautiful turquoise lakes, a blue glacier, waterfalls and old growth forest. Duration: just a few minutes walk to the first lake, or a half day/full day to explore the whole area.

Joffre Lakes is a well loved destination, and for good reason: it is absolutely stunning. Not only is it located on one of the most scenic drives you could ever hope to find (Duffy Lake Road) , but it's possible to enjoy this area no matter how much time you have, or how much hiking you want to do.

There are three bright turquoise lakes in the Joffre chain, the first being just a few minutes from the parking area. From Lower Joffre Lake, the views are stunning, and as you continue up the trail, it just gets better and better. The Parks Service is working on trail upgrades, and now a new section of the upper trail takes you past a gorgeous waterfall just under Upper Joffre Lake. The trail is steep in places and requires proper footwear and intermediate hiking ability.

From the top of the trail, you can continue on to the camping area (24 sites/$5 a person) and another huge waterfall, plus you'll get a closer look at the blue icefalls of the Matier Glacier directly above you. On a sunny day these lakes sparkle with little diamonds, below clear deep blue skies. On cloudy days, the lakes turn a brighter turquoise. Upper Joffre Lake has some epic camping spots, and serves as a good access point to the surrounding mountains for ski touring and mountaineering.

With easy access and beautiful scenery, this area gets very busy. To have some alone time with Joffre Lakes, you'll need to go very early in the morning or late in the day in summer months. To reach the parking area, head north on HWY 99 from Whistler or Pemberton, and follow the Duffy Lake Rd until you see the well marked Park signs on your right. There's a large parking area here (plowed only intermittently in winter!) that sill manages to spill over onto the highway on summer weekends.

Unfortunately, dogs are no longer allowed at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.

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Features

Camping
Photography
Snowshoeing
Backpacking
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Went around 6:30am and it was absolutely incredible - only saw 3 people on the way up

One of my favorite hikes - and my first alpine glacial lake hike with my dog, I have done twice when in Whistler. Sadly, was looking forward to coming back this year and learned that dogs are no longer allowed. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/joffre-lakes-hike-dogs-1.4646944

This is a pretty easy hike, so if you are in the area I would recommend spending a couple of hours here. If you are planning on doing this hike I STRONGLY recommend starting early. We started at about 8:00am and there were already a dozen or so people on the trail, on our way down we passed countless groups and the parking lot was insane. There were at least 30 people in line for the restroom when we got done. A beautiful trio of lakes, but again start early if you want some peace

I've done Joffre a couple years ago, but when I went up recently I was shocked to see an overflowing parking lot. The trail made the SeaWall in Vancouver look slow. The views are stunning, but the crowds for so thick, and the endless "hammock" instagramers kinda got on my nerves. As someone who goes on hikes for the piece and quite and authenticity I wasn't keen on this area. I'm glad so many others derive so much joy from it though. I'd happily sacrifice this spot to the crowds to save the many other locations nearby.

Make sure to start early, it could get pretty busy around midday! It was a beautiful and easy hike, although we weren't able to see Upper Joffre Lake due to the fog.

A beautiful hike outside the city with amazing views throughout. It gets quite cold at the top and the weather is sporadic, so make sure to bring another layer. We started this hike on a sunny day in summer and when we got to the top it started pouring ice cold rain!

A relatively easy hike that's rewarded with a beautiful view. It only took a couple hours to make this hike, but we spent several hours hiking around the lakes to get different perspectives once we made it there. There's also several spots to have a nice picnic!

This is such a great hike - easy enough for novices, and big mountain views despite a fairly minimal time investment. Doesn't hurt that you can do it in the shoulder seasons too!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Backcountry Camp Upper Joffre Lake

Snowshoe Joffre Lakes

Hike to Slalok Mountain

Hike to Mt Rohr

Scramble Mt Joffre

Overnight at Keith's Hut