Hike to Paradise: Hiking Joffre Lake (Summer Edition)
Middle Joffre Lakes
One of the most popular hikes around the Pemberton area is the hike to Joffre Lake Provincial Park. The hike in the #1 rated thing to do in Pemberton according to Tripadvisor and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
What is Joffre Lakes Provincial Park?
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a popular hiking trail and camping site located just outside of Pemberton, B.C. The hike has been popularized thanks to the three beautiful glacier fed lakes and waterfalls that follow the trail until the final lake. The three aforementioned lakes are referred to as Lower Joffre, Middle Joffre and Upper Joffre Lake. In order to hike the Joffre Lake trail from first to last lake we recommend being an intermediate hiker or in decent walking shape. This trail is not suitable for young children. The trail features many hard ascents and step declines. However the first lake provides beautiful scenery and is located only a 5 minute walk from the parking lot.
When is the best time to visit Joffre?
Joffre lakes can be hiked year round thanks to upgrades in the hiking trail. However most people like to visit the lake when the lakes have turned their signature glacier blue as pictured above. If you would like to catch the blue lake phenomenon plan to visit mid June to late September. Fun fact: Joffre Lakes signature blue look comes from a fine rock silk released by the grinding movement of the Joffre glacier. This fine silt stays suspended in the lakes and reflects the light of the sun during the summer months to produce a turquoise blue/green.
Joffre Lakes Waterfall
How Long Does the Hike Take?
The hike takes about 3.5 - 5 hours depending on how fast a hiker you are and how many stops you take! We always recommend giving yourself 5 hours from the parking lot is you wish to make it to Upper Joffre Lake. A rough estimate of each lake: First lake 5 minutes, second lake 1.75 hours, Joffre waterfall 2 hours, third lake 2.5 hours (1 way).
What should I take?
Here is a list of items you should bring on your hike
- comfortable hiking/running shoes - the hike offers a series of steep climbs and quick descents
- water - you can never have enough water and you risk getting sick drinking the creek or lake water
- sunscreen - you are hiking high into the alpine with little cover in many areas
- food - make sure to pack a lunch and snacks
- camera - how else are you going to share those awesome Instagram photos ;)
Upper Joffre Lakes
How do I Get There?
Driving from Pemberton to the Joffre Lake parking lot takes about 30 to 35 minutes. Leave the Pemberton Village towards Mount Currie. Once you arrive in Mount Currie drive until you see a white church on your right hand side. There will be a T in the road with a sign for the Lillooet turn off. Take a right at the sign and head towards Lillooet. From here stay on the road for about 18 minutes. You will need to start looking for the Joffre Lake turn-off when you begin to climb up the mountain. Eventually you will see a turn off for Joffre Lake Provincial Park on your right hand sign.
Camping | Camping is available at Joffre Lake Provincial Park. There are 24 campsite available on a first come first serve basis at Upper Joffre Lake (the last lake on the trail). Remember to follow pack in pack out rules. Campfires unfortunately are banned year round.
Swimming | People often ask how cold are the lakes? Pretty darn cold, considering the water is run off from a melting glacier. However we have taken a dip mid summer and as long as the sun is shining you'll quickly dry off!
Dogs at Joffre | Dogs are allowed at Joffre Lake. Please keep dogs on a leash however and remember to pick up after them.
Fishing | Joffre lake provides great lake fishing. Several species of trout can be found in the lakes. If you are planning to fish in Joffre remember to bring your fishing license with you.
Photo Credit: elehmden
Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2017