Joffre Lakes

Pemberton, British Columbia V0N 2L0

Joffre Lakes

Joffre Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"If you are staying at Whistler during the summer, assign a clear day to the hike to Upper Joffre Lake at the foot of the Matier glacier. The 5-km (3-mile) trail is more challenging than the statistics suggest, with much talus to negotiate and repeated crossings of Joffre Creek in its tempestuous fall from the icefields, but three turquoise lakes and a close-up view of the glacier more than make up for the hazards of getting there. Boots are essential and a walking stick is a help. You will appreciate binoculars, too, for examining the ice formations.

The first of the three lakes on your route is reached in a few minutes. Follow the Joffre Alpine Trail through the woods to the marshy outlet of Lower Joffre Lake. As you tread the boardwalks, look up to the left for a sight of the glacier, backed by Mount Matier and Joffre Peak. After crossing the creek, the trail climbs gently on the west side of the lake. Glimpses of the sparkling green water are left behind as you veer away from the creek and rise higher up the side of the valley on a rocky, rooty path."

More Joffre Lakes Professional Reviews and Guides

"With three beautiful lakes en route, each lovelier than the last, and with a spectacular glacier for your destination, this hike has something for almost everyone. It is not surprising that this area has been protected as a provincial park. There is paved road access to the trailhead. This, and the easy altitude gain on the road, make the Duffey Lake area especially attractive to hikers in summer and backcountry skiers in winter. It is also why developers would love to make this area into a winter Disneyland. Experience it for yourself and decide what you think is right.

A large-scale map at the trailhead provides information about the trail, which heads off into the trees, forking right just before the first lake on the Joffre Alpine Trail. Almost right away you have a spectacular view of the glacier from across the beautiful lake as you follow the trail over the marshy ground. Next comes the crossing of the outlet, Joffre Creek, after which you start to rise, following the west side of the lake and then the creek, the sound of rushing water in your ears. Next you drop a little to a rock slide, followed by a steep stretch before you cross the creek once more just before the second lovely body of water, Middle Joffre Lake, at elevation 1540 m (5050 ft)."

Joffre Lakes Reviews

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6/4/2018
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7/1/2010
This hike deserves 5 stars for beauty with the 3 lakes and the glacier hanging over the upper lake. It also deserves 5 stars for boulders, roots and rocks. Don't expect to make good time. It is tough going but well worth it at the top. Excellent camping sites at the upper lake.
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9/8/2008
Did this on a warm clear day in September. The view up from each of the lakes was stunning and drew us up to the top. It is not as easy as it sounds but worth every step to get to the top.
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8/13/2008
Did this trail in May 2007. There was More snow than I had anticipated but after trudging through 3Ft. snow in a Rain/Sleet/Snowstorm the upper lake and the Matier Glacier were spectacular! Definitely worth the Hike. One word of caution, The trail to the upper lake is not well travelled that time of year and is difficult to see the markings.
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8/22/2006
Took three 12 year olds up for a couple of night August 18, 2006. Trail head very easy to get to and well marked. Trail was the toughest I have brought them on but they did't complain at all. (the fact that 40 other people ranging from 8-80yrs might have played a factor). Took us three hours to get up which included a stop at middle lake for a swim (very cold). Trip down took 1hr45min. Scenes were breathtaking with crystal clear waters, high mountain peaks, bright white glacier, waterfalls and flowers. We stayed two nights which gave the boys a full day to explore, climb up to the waterfalls, and jump off the cliffs into the galcier waters (the first thing they mention when asked how was the weekend). Friday night only 4 tents, Saturday night was packed. Never felt too crowded. We will be back and next time will take the trail around the back to the glaciers.
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8/1/2006
Very good hike. Trail is well marked. The upper lake and the view of the Glaciers is well worth the effort beyond the middle lake
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Joffre Lakes Photos

Trail Information

Pemberton
Nearby City
7
Distance
1,200 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Allow 6 hours
Duration
Best July to October
Season

Activity Feed

Oct 2018