There are 3 lakes to view on the Joffre Lakes circuit. This is a beautiful hike that is not too challenging especially with recent work. At the trailhead there is a large scale map of the area and the hike. Follow the Joffre Alpine Trail as you veer right past the first lake (lower Joffre Lake), and then follow the trail as you cross Joffre Creek and then start to climb. You will pass Middle lake on the right, Upper Joffre Lake on the left. If you were to continue you would find yourself at the bottom of the Matier Glacier, which is spectacular. You are rewarded with awesome views on most of your hike. Great on a sunny afternoon - Sun, Ice, Rock, and lunch!
Note: Be aware of the potential for icefall here. Some campers overnight in this area. Falling ice may have the potential to overrun the campsite.
To get to the trail-head, when approaching Pemberton from Whistler (from the South), turn right at the T-junction, towards Mount Currie. In town, turn right again towards Duffey Lake and Lillooet, you will travel along a gravel road along the Lillooet River, crossing to the north side river just before Lillooet Lake. The road climbs steeply (paved), follow this and continue a short distance to the BC Parks Joffre Lake parking area, where the first picture below was taken (and waypoint #1 was marked). Details:Waypoint #1 is Parking & Trailhead, #2 is 1St Lake stream Junction and viewpoint of trail to Upper Joffre, #4 is base of rock fall scramble, #5 is 2nd Lake and Glacier view, #6 & #7 are viewpoints on s/w side of Lake looking at Glacier, #8 is s/w end of Lake, #9 is lunch spot on Rocks, the end! Use download GPS to download these waypoints into your GPS unit.Waypoints are WGS84, and are repeated here (although track and points available from download file soon):
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Posted By: Jakethesnke
- Thu May 10 04:49:27 UTC 2018
QuestionOn the B.C parks page it says its open but when i go to get a backcountry permit it says "Joffre Lakes is not operating for the dates May 12, 2018 - May 14, 2018."
If anyone could offer some insight that would be much appreciated.ANSWERS are in this forum: Camping at Joffre during the may long weekend
Posted By: Pushkar
- Thu Mar 23 22:20:59 UTC 2017
We have been to Joffre before and was planning to do this year in May again
This time we are planning to Camp up there.After reading all the reviews about camping looks like its very busy in Summer and becomes dirty too eventually creating Mice problem and all
Is there any one who has attempted to Camp Around May end? Howz the weather and Trail conditions in May like?
Is it equally busy ?ANSWERS are in this forum: Camping in may at Joffre Lakes
Posted By: Jenk
- Sat Nov 05 18:07:13 UTC 2016
UpsideBeautiful lakes and views DownsidePeople DIrty CommentWe camped at upper Joffre lake lake Aug on a Thursday night. Last time I'll Vista this place in the summer again. Since then I understand signs have been posted but....dogs were mostly off leash, people shoulder to shoulder in jogging tights and wearing over amounts of cologne. These were not outdoor people! Tour buses! The camp area was dirty. Mice everywhere! The toilet wasnt fit for rats! It smelt so bad....you could smell it from many feet away. People washing their dishes in the lake. I was horrified. If I return, it will be during the winter for a snowshoeing trek. I feel sad for this place. :(
Posted By: icupat
- Fri Jun 10 23:25:58 UTC 2016
Upsidebeauty view, newish trail is fast and furious, except the last 20 mins to campground from viewpoint at upper lake Downsideeasy access means second parking lot is typically full on busy weekends = 100-150 cars --> 300-400 people. camping area is full in summer by saturday at 1pm for sure likely (if nice weather) CommentJune 4 2016 was snow free to campground/upper lake.
Posted By: kimeuh
- Fri May 13 21:57:54 UTC 2016
QuestionHello , has anyone been to joffre lake near pemberton in the last month? im looking to go and do the hike but i'm wondering if there is still snow in the trail and if the lake is unthawed ???
thanks ANSWERS are in this forum: Joffre Lake
Posted By: Capella161
- Mon Mar 28 04:29:46 UTC 2016
UpsideIf carrying a pack for overnight, gets your heart rate up a bit. On a clear day, the views at 3rd lake are beautiful. DownsideCROWDED!!! CommentWent up on a Friday in May 2015. Got to the parking lot mid afternoon, had to hunt for a parking spot. Passed many people of their way down, only a few other people spent the night at 3rd lake. Pretty sunset and a small lightning storm made for fun evening entertainment. By 10AM Saturday, we had packed up and passed dozens, of not hundreds of people on their way up. sigh...
Posted By: keeponTruckin
- Fri Dec 18 05:21:47 UTC 2015
UpsideFirst came here in late September so there wasn't any bugs at all. All three lakes were incredibly beautiful. The first lake was only 2 minutes walk from the parking lot. There are also campgrounds available at the third lake. Went in november, there was snow, but it was still very nice and the hike was easier (in my opinion) as the snow made me go slower at the steeper sections, and I also slid down the trail on the way down, which was super fun :) DownsideNothing really. There's about a 40 minute "difficult" section of the hike which is a bit steeper than the rest of the trail, about 15 minutes after the first lake. Just pace yourself. CommentSuper fun! AMAZziiing views of mountains on the way down the lakes too.
Trail upgraded, now only 1 hr to mid lake, and extra 1/2 hour to upper lake, total 1.5 hours to upper lake. DownsideThis is now a "walk in the park", a tourist destination, overcrowded even on week days.
Matier Glacier is very quickly receding, no longer available unless you are into serious mountain climbing. See photo CommentIf you make it to the upper lake, you should walk its length, through the camping area and climb up to the rock ledges below the glacier for a good view south, of the lake and other mountains.
Posted By: r6squeegee
- Tue Aug 12 23:04:19 UTC 2014
Commentyes it's becoming easier and easier as they're grooming the trail. It use to be more rustic and closer to intermediate/hard, but I agree, in 2014 it's now mostly just a walk on a paved trail with wooden steps.
(I liked it better when it was more rustic, before they started paving...)
Posted By: theoneandonlychevy
- Sun Jul 20 20:01:01 UTC 2014
UpsideGorgeous reward for the effort. DownsideTrail is in the process of rerouting so expect construction. Very popular so arrive early CommentI would definitely consider this on the "easy" Sodexo of moderate or easy altogether. Very good condition of trail and well marked. Took less than 2.5 to complete. Well worth the effort for the views. Happy hiking!
Posted By: StartUpSurvival
- Thu Sep 26 18:12:28 UTC 2013
UpsideBeautiful views. Lakes, rivers, mountains.</br></br></br></br> DownsideHard to find a campsite. Long drive.</br></br></br></br> CommentI wrote a blog on this with some nice vids & pics. Check it out: http://www.start-up-survival.com/joffre-lakes-camping-pemberton-bc/
Youtube vids: Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1QG1bQw83M Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsWeE_37V9I
Posted By: yoursdigitally
- Tue Jul 02 01:52:11 UTC 2013
CommentJust visited all three lakes on June 29, 2013. No more snow on trails. There is a new trail to connect middle and upper lakes. It features a waterfall and a wooden bear decoration on one side of a small bridge.
Posted By: Princesspants
- Thu Jun 14 21:39:42 UTC 2012
Has anyone been up the trial recently? Looking to find out about the conditiona and snow levels?
PrincessANSWERS are in this forum: Trail Conditions
Posted By: jtrek
- Sun Jun 10 23:50:44 UTC 2012
Anyone been in lately? Curious about amount of snow still on ground at the lakes level.
cheers johnANSWERS are in this forum: Joffre Lakes
Posted By: TheDagda
- Sat Aug 27 03:53:17 UTC 2011
UpsideIt's one of the only dog friendly parks left and it's an amazing time for you and your little buddy, and it's free camping. DownsideWayyyyyy to many mosquitos CommentIt's easily one of the best hikes I've been on. There's something to be said about having everything you need to survive for 3 days tied to your back and scrambling over boulders and up steap inclines for 5.5 km. All said and done, it's a great frickin time. and if you can afford the extra little bit of weight in your pack, throw in a couple of beers to drink up at the glacier. I'll be the best beer you ever tasted.
Can't wait to go back.
Posted By: TheDagda
- Fri Aug 19 22:06:11 UTC 2011
QuestionHeading up on tuesday morning and just wondering if anybody wants to go. Coming back on thursday, gonna go up the glacier on wednesday.ANSWERS are in this forum: Anybody wanna Go next week?
Posted By: arkitekt
- Sun Jul 11 22:29:45 UTC 2010
UpsideA beautiful trail with a wide variety of terrain and trail type. It's definitely a high use trail, but the excellent local parks ranger keeps up on trail maintenance with help from hikers (grab a rock!) and summer crews. Last summer I helped him build a nice viewing platform at the middle lake to keep bank erosion to a minimum. CommentRemember to keep your dogs on a leash! This is a busy trail. There are lots of other hikes around if you want to let Fido run around.
Posted By: Dinara
- Fri Oct 09 00:39:30 UTC 2009
Upsidegreat hike with beautiful views, moderate to easy Downsidecouple of stone fields who are very tricky and slippery in this season CommentI love this trail. We did it last monday (oct.5th) and stayed over night. There was snow at the upper lake and it was -3C but it was still great!!! I can only recommend this trail.
Posted By: cpbc
- Thu Jun 04 21:26:53 UTC 2009
QuestionLooking for an update on the current conditions, trail condition, bugs, etc. Welcome your comments.ANSWERS are in this forum: Hiking Joffre this weekend
Posted By: toonse
- Mon Feb 09 04:32:09 UTC 2009
UpsideGorgerous scenery, one of the most impressive places I have ever camped. Going up to the glacier is quite humbling. DownsideThe mosquitoes ate us alive until it got cold enough that they fled.
No campfires allowed. CommentSome amazing photo opportunities
Posted By: awallwork
- Mon Jan 26 19:37:01 UTC 2009
UpsideCamping was great - took a group of Scouts winter camping - even in the parking lot it was nice and quiet (although cold) DownsideTrail was difficult to follow with ski marks all over the place providing confusion CommentA nice winter trip but be prepared for the elements - it got very cold at night (-26)
Posted By: trailrunner
- Mon Sep 17 02:45:47 UTC 2007
UpsidePretty lakes. Several neat bridges. Diversed path from extremely well tamed track and field path, root-meshmash, rock hopping jamboree. DownsideThe fact there is apparently no path to get to the peaks you admire from the lake shore. Not clear where is the end point of the hike to the upper lake - makes you think you went past it - until you actually get there. CommentIt starts with extremely well maintained flat path like you see in Eastern Canada's Jackpine Boreal forest paths, then it turns to fully rooty path, then followed by a fairly long hopping big white rocks area. Two relatively steep sections and I did walk; first one for two minutes, second one for half a minute or so. Large majority of running up is a crawling to jog speed as they are either steep or too rocky to go fast or both. 2nd lake is rather suddenly comes into view. Then you go past the second lake for 1km or less and get to the upper lake. But there is no sign and the trail drags on for at least 500m or more on West side of the lake with some view through the trees. Eventually you reach Heli-pad sign and Outhouse on the lake side. It was a weekday, but there were lots of people there. Also it was a beautiful sunny day - not a single cloud. Joffre lakes are pretty, but I recall Lake Louise was more impressive. A return trip took 1:20 or 1:40 including 20min break, with about the 45(uphill)-35(downhill)min split like taken. I went fairly fast, so was rather surprised it took that long. As this trail is simply hard to go fast except at the very beginning, so breaking 1:00 would be hard even for a fast runner. Definitely nice to be able to climb those peaks near by, but not trails seem to be there. May be because of the fact there is snow or glacier covering up the peak most of the time?
Posted By: dwatts
- Tue Aug 07 04:58:02 UTC 2007
UpsideLovely scenery DownsideCrowds of people outnumber crowds of bugs! CommentThis is a strenuous hike with a pack for the weekend. The boulder field between lower and middle lake is tricky if you aren't sure footed. It was also a trick to find the trail at the end of the middle lake, too many bits of flagging tape and trail markers! On the August long weekend there were dozens and dozens of dayhikers, not many who understood hiking etiquette, not a good place to go to get away from it all! Lots of people hiking with off leash dogs that scamper around your legs creating their own hazard! Definately avoid this trip on a holiday weekend!
Posted By: Adam+Laura
- Fri Jan 05 07:11:13 UTC 2007
UpsideIncredible veiws and feeling up here. There were lots of campers. DownsideLook out for ticks, and we helped one lady get helicoptered out she broke her leg. It is a tough hike not for beginers.
Posted By: opus
- Mon Oct 03 05:30:35 UTC 2005
UpsideBeautiful views (lakes and glacier) and a great workout. DownsideBugs...in August, we got eaten close to the 2nd lake. CommentOne of my favorites. It is a high reward vs. effort hike that can easily be accomplished in a day split between a relaxing lunch break at the top.
Posted By: Clucoid
- Fri Aug 19 06:29:24 UTC 2005
UpsideFairly easy trail with some spectacular views of the lakes and the glaciers. Nice campsite at the end of the upper lake. DownsideMaybe the crowds, but it seemed to of thinned out by the time I reached the upper lake. CommentAwesome views at Upper Lake. From the campsite you can hike up a route for about 30 mins to the Matier glacier. Very impressive close-up. From there you can see all three lakes you passed.
Posted By: Capri
- Mon Jun 13 19:08:14 UTC 2005
CommentDoes anyone know if the lower lakes trail is snow free now, 6/12/05? Is there camping nearby? I saw camping in two provincial parks in Squamish, but one park says it's closed because of nesting birds.
Posted By: Kmarshall
- Sun Sep 26 00:58:40 UTC 2004
UpsideSpectacular Scenery, Unbelievable views no matter where you look Dogs can take this trail as well as long as they are well behaved and you pick up after them. Leashes or non leash is okay use caution but we took our dogs and they loved it Blue heeler and australian shepard DownsideIs there really a downside. If I can do it anyone can. Maybe a bit crowded on weekends but hey it is worth it CommentUnreal I can not believe that you only have to walk 10 min to the first Glacier. Take a camera be prepared upper lake is windy. Start early let people know where you are going. Dogs loved it. Great hike amazing views awesome time. It is a must do and a must see.
Posted By: norco
- Sun Oct 06 21:40:34 UTC 2002
UpsideAwesome scenery, good trail. DownsideTrail is crowded during August, not very interesting scenery (mostly forest) until Upper Lake. CommentThe campground is a perfect spot for an overnight trip. For sure bring a camera. The hike is also good for a day trip (2 h 30 mins there; 1 h 30 mins back).
Posted By: Kodiak
- Tue Jul 09 14:27:27 UTC 2002
UpsideA must hike, with three beautiful lake one after another. DownsideCan be crowed during peak time. CommentGrear camping spots at the top lake under the glacier.
Posted By: Urban trekker
- Sun May 26 00:21:59 UTC 2002
UpsideGreat mountain scenery, a good cardio workout, close up look at a glacier. DownsideThe steepness between lower and middle lakes. CommentBring a camera - lot's too take photos off - If short of time the ten minute walk into the lower lake is well worth it.