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 rated the #1 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. The three lakes are known as Lower Joffre, Middle Joffre and Upper Joffre Lake. In order to make the trip from Lower Joffre Lake to Upper Joffre 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 steep declines. However, the first lake provides beautiful scenery and is only five minutes from the parking lot.
When is The Best Time To Visit Joffre?
Joffre lakes is hikeable year-round thanks to upgrades in the hiking trail. However, most people like to visit the lake when the water has turned its signature glacier blue (as pictured above). You can catch the blue lake phenomenon from mid-June to late September.
Fun fact: Joffre Lakes signature blue look comes from fine rock silt released by the grinding movement of the Upper 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. If you are reading this during the winter months visit our Joffre Lake (Winter Edition) hiking page.
Take a video tour of Joffre Lake Provincial Park
Joffre Lakes Waterfall
How Long Does the Hike Take?
The hike takes about 3.5 - 5 hours depending on your pace and rest stops. We always recommend giving yourself 5 hours from the parking lot to Upper Joffre Lake and back. 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 Bring?
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, always pack out what you pack in!
- 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 minutes. Leave the Pemberton Village towards Mount Currie. Take a right-hand turn at the Mount Currie gas station towards the town of Lillooet. After a brief drive along Lillooet Lake Road you will begin to ascend into the mountains. Drive for 15 more minutes until you see the signs and parking lot for Joffre Lakes Provincial Park on the right-hand side.
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. Remember to follow pack in pack out rules. Campfires are banned year round.
Parking | Joffre Lakes Provincial Park offers a limited amount of parking at the hike entrance + parking overflow several hundred yards before the lake entrance. Please note anyone who parks on the Duffey Lake highway will be towed. Due to unsafe parking practices this bylaw is now strictly enforced.
Swimming | The water is suitable to swim in during the heat of the summer. Just be aware your jumping into a glacier fed lake, the water is very cold, bring a towel.
Dogs at Joffre | Dogs are not allowed at Joffre Lakes. Park Rangers will turn around hikers with dogs as of summer 2018.
Fishing | Joffre lake provides great lake fishing. Several species of trout can be found in the lakes. Always carry your fishing licence if your planning to fish in a BC lake.
Are you looking for Pemberton Hotel Accommodation?
Make Pemberton Valley Lodge your basecamp for your outdoor hiking adventures! We offer Pemberton Hotel Suites and great amenities. Please contact our friendly staff if you have any questions about hiking in the area or would like to make a reservation.
Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2017