Hike to Joffre Lakes

Canada Joffre Lakes Trail

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.

Pack List

  • Your dog, on leash (one of the only Parks dogs are allowed!)
  • For a day hike bring minimum 2L of water
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Warm layers (even in summer, mountain weather is unpredictable and it can get very cold in the alpine)
  • And everything you'd normally have in a day pack...
  • Headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Lots of food
  • Extra layers, jacket
  • Camera
  • Bug repellent in summer (there can be a lot of mosquitos if it's not windy)
  • Gators in spring/early summer for the mud!
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Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



6.2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1200 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

27 days ago

Nice and easy

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.

27 days ago

about 1 month ago

Great day hike

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!

about 1 month ago

11 months ago

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!

11 months ago

12 months ago

A local favourite

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!

12 months ago

Added by Emily Haggar

Guided by the belief that we make our own rules when it comes to creating a happy life, I work with entrepreneurs on brand storytelling, design + illustration, while keeping my feet in the mountains day after day.

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