vancouver hikes: joffre lakes

Finally made it to Joffre Lakes in September, and it was UHMAYZING.

The Joffre Lakes trail is one of the most popular hikes to do in Vancouver, and it’s easy to see why: turquoise blue glacial waters and breathtaking mountain views along with a darn good workout make this an unforgettable - or, in my case, literally breathless - experience.

The trail takes you to three beautiful lakes - Lower, Middle and Upper Joffre - with increasing difficulty as it climbs steadily uphill. The special tinge of blue that these lakes have is all because of glacial silt, and the chance to see them IRL really made the 10km round-trip trek worthwhile.

But enough talk; I’ll let the pictures do the talking now. For tips and important things to note before you visit, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this article :)

Here are some things you should know before visiting Joffre Lakes:

  • Get there early. Joffre Lakes is a three-hour drive from Vancouver, so you can imagine how early you have to set out before reaching. The carpark at the trailhead gets full really fast, so you might have to park farther away and walk there. Some folks recommend staying overnight in Squamish/Whistler since these areas are closer.

  • Don’t go with a full bladder. The toilet situation is super sad at the trailhead. There are only two latrines, and the next toilets you will come across are near the Middle Joffre Lake, which is at least 30-45 minutes away on foot. I had to queue for at least half an hour to use the loo, and it stank to high heaven too. So avoid going to the toilets here at all costs (unless you really can’t help it!).

  • Bundle up. Silly me thought that I would be fine wearing normal workout gear, but boy, it was COLD. Yes, it should’ve been obvious since we were going on an uphill hike. Keep yourselves warm and the hike will be a tad more enjoyable.

  • Wear proper shoes. If you want to make it all the way to Upper Joffre Lake, proper hiking footwear is advised. It gets slippery, muddy and icy there, so good shoes would definitely help prevent any unwarranted injuries.

  • Don’t feed the wildlife. It’s a great photo op, to be sure, but I feel like us humans have already damaged nature enough; we shouldn’t interfere with the animals that call beautiful BC home.

Feel free to post a comment if you have any other questions! Joffre Lakes is such a gem, and I hope all of us get to enjoy its natural beauty for years to come.

Add this to your Pinterest!

joffre lakes vancouver hikes