Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hiking Joffre Lakes

Have you wanted to hike Joffre Lakes? It's been on our list for a while and we finally had the chance to do it–the kids were at the grandparents and the sun was out! The drive to Joffre Lakes is about three hours from Surrey which is quite the commitment but there are many beautiful places to stop along the way (Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, Whistler etc.) 

Joffre Lakes Upper Lake
Upper Lake at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

In order to get to the trailhead, drive one hour past Whistler on Hwy 99. Once you get through Pemberton just head towards Mt. Currie staying on Hwy 99 until you get to Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. There are two parking lots and by noon both were completely full and it was a Monday!

The first lake is just 500 meters in and an easy walk for anyone. When going to the Middle and Upper Lakes, the first five to ten minutes is an easy walk in the forest, then you reach this open boulder area for another five to ten minutes and then..."the climb". The incline is about 30 minutes long if you don't stop and would be similar to the Garibaldi Lake switchbacks or The Chief in regards to how it felt – it's not easy! The views are beautiful and the trail is well-populated.

When looking back after your climb you can see the first lake and give yourself a pat on the back for going that far that fast. After the climb you level out and descend to Middle Lake. This area was gorgeous and busy! 

There are many places to stop along to the way to rest and have a snack...and of course get that photo!

We continued on to the Upper Lake. It says that it takes an additional 30 minutes but it is less than that and you've done most of the hard work already! Along the way you can stop at this waterfall.

And just minutes later you get views of rivers...

...and the Upper Lake! There are a lot of boulders at this point as you head down to the lake.

Beautiful or what?  The hike is about 5 km's in each direction and takes about one hour each way if you move continuously (the sign at the parking lot indicates that it should take three hours each way).

Behind us, on the other side of the lake, is where you can do some back country camping if you want to. We elected not to.

The hike back down is a breeze although I definitely felt it in my knees. Most of the hike is in the forest other than this open path which is maybe 5-10 minutes of the hike. 

Because it is such a long way to go for a hike, we opted to stay in Whistler for the night! We got a great deal on Hotwire the night before and stayed at the Westin Resort and Spa in Whistler which is right in the village. We enjoyed eating out (especially Elements for breakfast) and it felt like we were really on holidays and relaxing–I recommend it!

Have you done Joffre Lakes? Do you want to?


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Hiking Joffre Lakes

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  1. This brings back memories!! So beautiful :)

  2. So beautiful! Wow! I definitely want to make it there someday and do a night or two (tenting).