Camping at Joffre Lakes near Pemberton, BC

July 17, 2014

Written by: Lori Pederson

Overnight backpacking to a campsite and lugging all of your gear is often seen as a lot of work and very tiring. However, Joffre Lakes offers a perfect intermediate hike, passing three turquoise coloured lake before reaching a campsite setting below a glacier where the views are absolutely stunning.

The trail is just 5.5 km and 500 meters elevation gain to the campsite, which makes it a manageable hike with supplies on your back. Another nice part is dogs are still allowed at Joffre Lakes so bringing your four legged companion with you is a convenient and memorable option.

There used to be a difficult boulder crossing along the trail to Joffre Lakes but it’s since been upgraded by BC Parks and now is a groomed path making the route much easier. As of July 2014, BC’s Parks is working on the trail from Lower to Middle Lake. The trail upgrades from Middle to Upper Lake seem complete and are a lot better with man-made steps and stairs.

Once at Upper Lake their is a viewpoint to your left and to your right, over a few rocks & along the lake is your final destination.

Upper Joffre Lakes

Upper Joffre Lakes as you approach the lake, with the campsite on the far side.

Here are some tips when planning to camp at Joffre Lakes:

  • For the first time as of 2014, you can book and pay on-line up to two weeks before your arrival for your campsite at Joffre Lakes. This is not a reservation and does not guarantee a campsite. There are no refunds. To book on-line from June 1st-September 30th, visit the Discover Camping website.
  • There are approximately 24 campsites at the south end circling the Upper Lake. They are quite rocky so a sleeping pad would be a good idea. Even though you have booked on-line it is still on a first come basis for your pick on which is campsite best suits you.
  • There is one pit toilet each at Lower & Upper Lake.
  • There is no garbage pick-up at Joffre Lakes. Please take out what you bring in.
  • As of 2014, it is $5.00 per person per night. A camping permits must be carried with you at all times. BC Parks Rangers visit the park frequently to ensure you are following all the park by-laws.
  • Campfires are Not permitted at Joffre Lakes
  • Although winter camping is permitted it is not recommended due to high risk avalanche territory. Expect winter conditions from November-May.
  • Bring insect repellent as the Mosquitoes and Black Flies are fierce.
  • Please take your dog waste bags out with you. Leaving them on the ground with intentions to pick them up on the way out is easily forgotten and soon our four legged friends won’t be welcome. Please keep your pets leashed and be respectful of the animals that live at Joffre Lakes: Grizzlies, Black Bears, Goats, Squirrels, Deer and Pikas.
  • Printable Trail map.
  • Fishing is allowed at Joffre Lakes but you must have a license.
  • After passing Pemberton and as you approach the community of Mount Currie there is a posted 30 km speed limit. Please pay attention and be respectful to the posted speed limit.
  • Bring your own water for the hike and be prepared to boil water.
  • There is no emergency service. Make sure you have enough supplies for self rescue. There is a heli-pad at the Upper Lake.
  • What should you bring? Read my blog post.
  • For more information on hiking to Joffre Lakes.

Lori Pederson is an Education Assistant for The Surrey School District. In her spare time she’s an avid hiker, ss’er and loves Dragon Boating. She scouts out challenging but safe hikes & SS’ing and posts them to her hiking site, Hiking For The Scaredy Cat.

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