Joffre Lakes Hike – 3 Beautiful Glacial Lakes – Perfect Whistler Day Trip

While spending a weekend in Whistler I wanted to do a hike with pretty mountain views and I found Joffre Lakes hike in nearby Pemberton BC. From Whistler it’s a 1-hour scenic drive to Joffre Lakes trailhead.

The trail gets busy, especially on weekends, so the earlier you start the better your chances of enjoying the trail with fewer hikers. On the contrary if you are hiking solo and want to meet up with other hikers on the trail, get there around mid-morning or in the afternoon.

Joffre Lakes hike is a beautiful trail and an easy day trip from Whistler.

RELATED: Emerald Lake Hike – Yoho National Park BC

Joffre Lakes Hike - Whistler day trip

 

Where is Joffre Lakes?

Joffre Lakes trailhead is located in the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in the southwest region of British Columbia.

Joffre Lakes is a good day trip from Whistler or Pemberton. You could also do it as a day trip from Vancouver but I think spending a night or two in Whistler is better.

Distance to Joffre Lakes

  • 35 km (22 miles) east of Pemberton
  • 61.5 km (38 miles) northeast of Whistler
  • 180 km (112 miles) northeast of Vancouver

 

Upper Joffre Lake is the trail summit with awesome mountain views surrounding the turquoise lake

Upper Joffre Lake is the trail summit with awesome mountain views surrounding the turquoise lake

 

Getting to Joffre Lakes from Whistler

61.5 km (38 miles) via BC Hwy 99 North – about 1 hour

Take BC Hwy 99 North and follow it for 61.5 km (38 miles) to the trailhead on the right side of the highway. Hwy 99 is also known as Duffey Lake Road along this stretch of road.

Getting to Joffre Lakes from Vancouver

180 km (112 miles) via BC Hwy 99 North – about 2.5 hours

That’s it for directions – get on Hwy 99 N and follow it all the way to the Joffre Lakes trailhead parking lot.

To get from Vancouver to Joffre Lakes you’ll take the beautiful and scenic Sea to Sky Highway which is BC Highway 99. The trip takes about 2.5 hours without making any stops. But a pit stop in Whistler to grab something to eat is my advice. You’ll need some fuel for energy to get you through the hike!

Driving from Vancouver to Whistler it’s 120 km (75 miles) and takes about 90 minutes. You’ll pass through Squamish along Hwy 99, another great place for hiking in BC.

 

Lower Joffre Lake hiking trail in BC Canada

Lower Joffre Lake is an easy hike from the trailhead

 

Joffre Lakes Hike Description

  • You’ll reach the Lower Joffre Lake within 5 minutes of starting the hike.
  • Middle Joffre Lake takes about 1 hour
  • Joffre Falls – about 15 minutes from Middle Joffre Lake
  • Upper Joffre Lake from the waterfall takes less than 15 minutes

 

First of three lakes - Lower Joffre Lake is a glacier fed lake in BC

First of three lakes – Lower Joffre Lake is a glacier fed lake in BC

 

Is the rest of the trail uphill? That is something you may wonder after reaching Lower Joffre Lake and hiking to Middle Joffre Lake. It’s a steady incline so you may want to stop for rest breaks. On a hot sunny day I felt like I was getting a good workout as I walked steadily up the mountain trail.

 

Emerald to turquoise color of Middle Joffre Lake with snow covered mountain in the background

Emerald to turquoise color of Middle Joffre Lake with snow covered mountain in the background

 

Middle Joffre Lake is the second of three gorgeous lakes in one hike

Middle Joffre Lake is the second of three gorgeous lakes in one hike

 

Mountain view and a glimpse of a glacier lake along Joffre Lake hike near Whistler BC

Mountain view and a glimpse of a glacier lake along Joffre Lake hike near Whistler BC

 

With three lakes and a waterfall along the trail you have plenty of excuses to stop to take in the magnificence of nature.

Joffre Lakes hike info

  • Distance – 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Elevation gain –  400 m (1,312 ft)
  • Type of hike – Out and back
  • Time – Allow about 2 to 3 hours total hiking time
  • Rating – Moderate
  • Best time to hike – Open year round – hiking in summer and snowshoeing in winter
  • Dogs allowed on Joffre Lakes trail? Sorry, no dogs allowed on the trail

 

Spectacular color of Upper Joffre Lake and snow covered mountains are your hiking reward

Spectacular color of Upper Joffre Lake and snow covered mountains are your hiking reward

 

Upper Joffre Lake is a beautiful glacial lake with overnight camping

Upper Joffre Lake is a beautiful glacial lake with overnight camping

 

Joffre Lakes Campground

Reservations are required in advance of your arrival at the Joffre campground – there is no cash payment option at the park. Overnight camping is allowed only at the Upper Joffre Lake campground. You can make your reservation to camp at Joffre Lakes up to 4 months in advance via the Discover Camping website – click here to visit the site.

To book your camping reservation at Upper Joffre Lake follow the online instructions.

For the reservation type select Backcountry then select your preferred dates and select Joffre Lakes from the location drop-down list.

On the map of the campground if you click on the text Upper Lakes Campground an info popup will show how many tent pads remain available.

  • Check-in time is 1:00 pm or later
  • Check-out time is 12:00 noon
  • Maximum 4 people per tent pad reservation
  • Reservations online up to 5:00 pm on arrival date
  • Payment is required in advance
  • Backcountry fee is included in the price of the reservation
  • Specific tent pad location is allocated on a first-come first-served basis
  • Tent pad total maximum size is 10′ x 10′

 

Upper Joffre Lake at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in BC

Upper Joffre Lake at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in BC

 

Summary of Joffre Lakes Hike

Joffre Lakes trail is the perfect choice for a half-day hike from Whistler BC. I enjoy hikes with some elevation gain, especially at the beginning of the hike, and beautiful views. Joffre Lakes delivers with 3 stunning glacier lakes and a beautiful waterfall along the trail. At the summit the views of the mountains are spectacular, making it the perfect time to enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back down the mountain trail. Or plan ahead and make a reservation to spend a night or two camping at Upper Joffre Lake and watch the sunrise.

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Joffre Lakes Hike - Whistler day trip - British Columbia Canada

Joffre Lakes hiking trail in British Columbia Canada

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

2 Replies

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  1. Jo Harmon says:

    The views and the lakes are breathtaking. Thank you for posting your day in the area

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