- Difficulty Intermediate
- Time 4 hours
- Round-Trip 10km
- Elevation Gain 370 meters
- Season June - September
- Camping Yes
- From Vancouver 3 hours
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly No
Joffre Lakes is one of BC's most beautiful hikes and is relatively easy to access compared to other alpine lakes in the region. The hiking trail passes all three lakes and reaches the campsite next to Upper Joffre Lake where Matier Glacier hangs impressively high above.
From the parking lot just off the Duffey Lake Road north of Pemberton, head along the trail staying to your left at the fork and in just minutes you will reach the first of three lakes. The view is amazing and the glacier can even be seen from this viewpoint on a sunny day, perched high above in the mountains.
Head back up the trail to the fork and turn left to begin your hike to Middle and Upper Joffre Lakes. The path crosses a bridge and continues to follow the trail along the edge of the lake. After 5 minutes, the trail will begin to head uphill and continue through forested area. After about 20 minutes, you will come to a clearing as the route opens up for views across the valley and looking back in the direction you came from. This section used to cross over a very challenging boulder field, however the trail here is well maintained as it climbs steeply.
After the trail passes near Joffre Creek on the left, it climbs through a couple of switchbacks where you can see the Lower Lake in the distance. Not much further and the trail begins to level. Just around a corner, views of the turquoise Middle Joffre Lake can be seen between the trees as you continue along the trail. The trail arrives at a viewpoint at the second lake where the glacier serves as stunning background scenery.
Continue hiking along the trail as it crosses a wooden bridge and passes a log floating in the water. As the route leaves the Middle Joffre Lakes area, a short trail leads off to the right where there is a scenic waterfall along the river connecting Upper and Middle Joffre Lakes.
Return to the trail and continue hiking uphill and within 15 minutes, after crossing another small wooden bridge, you will see glimpses of Upper Joffre Lakes through the trees. While it appears that you are almost there, there is still quite a long walk around the lake that follows a narrow trail with roots and rocks. As you reach the end, the trail opens up and Upper Joffre Lake becomes visible along with the views looking up towards the glacier.
The campsite is located near the far end of the lake, below the glacier area. For day hikers, there choose a place to sit to have lunch while enjoying the view. Some people like to sit near the lake, others near the creek, and some like to find a place to sit higher up.
After taking photographs and enjoying the alpine views, make your way back to the trail and start your descent back downhill towards Middle Joffre Lakes and eventually back to where you started earlier in the day.