Added by Emily Haggar
Snowshoeing is a unique way to experience this incredible area. Exploring backcountry wilderness in deep pow is unforgettable.
The Canadian west coast mountains around Whistler BC receive over thirty feet of snow each winter. This area is well known for epic skiing and snowboarding, and it's also a really fun place to go snowshoeing.
Here's a winter version of the incredible Joffre Lakes adventure (see my profile to read about hiking this area), with some extra details you'll need to know if you are visiting the park from November to May.
The Duffey Lake Road area is very different from summer to winter. In the warmer months, this area is a hiking paradise, with easy highway access to many of the trailheads. In winter, it receives some serious mountain storms, heavy snowfall, and is not plowed nearly as often as the main highways. Like many mountain towns, snow tires or chains are mandatory by law anywhere near Whistler in the winter months. For travel on the Duffey Lake Rd a 4WD vehicle is the way to go.
The parking area at Joffre Lakes is not cleared on a regular basis, so be prepared to either dig yourself a little spot to park, or continue further on to the Cayoosh or Cerise creek areas instead. If you go during a sunny stretch of weather there's a better chance that someone has cleared the parking lot! This might all sound like an adventure in itself, just to get there, but that's part of the fun right?
The scenery in winter is nothing short of magical. There is deep snow, a huge blue glacier, and the beautiful, absolute stillness you find in the colder months. If you go during the weekdays, it's likely you'll have the entire place to yourself. Of all the wilderness locations I've snowshoed over the years, this one a personal favorite.
Follow HWY99 north from Pemberton, turning right towards Lillooet in the village of Mt. Currie. Continue up the Duffey Lake Rd until you see signs for Joffre Lakes Provincial Park on your right. Enjoy!
- Alpine snowshoes (you'll need those metal teeth on the bottom)
- Thermos of something hot to drink
- Emergency down jacket
- First aid kit, headlamp
- Plenty of water + food
- Hiking/ski poles
- Experience traveling in the wilderness in winter; check the avalanche rating before you head out
- Waterproof snowpants + boots, extra mittens
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Photography, Snowshoeing, Survival
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