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Steeply rising from Lower Joffre Lake, the glacier-laden peaks are visible from an easily accessible viewpoint 500 metres from the parking lot. If you carry on, the path takes you along the turquoise waters of Middle and Upper Joffre Lakes, each lake more stunning than the last. Joffre Lakes Provincial Park has opportunities for hiking, camping, mountaineering, wildlife viewing, and fishing.
190 km From Vancouver
Joffre Lakes is one of the most beautiful places in BC and one of our most popular destinations! The turquoise blue waters along with the glacier view in the background make it a favourite for locals and visitors to Vancouver. There is only one hiking trail in the park and it leads to Upper Joffre Lakes.
The trail passes all three lakes, takes at least 4 hours round trip - 10km hike that climbs 370m. Please make sure you are wearing proper hiking shoes if you plan to venture past the first lake. From the parking lot, follow the trailhead from the right side of the trail map to start the hike.
At the very start of your hike, within 5 minutes of trailhead, you will come across Lower Joffre Lakes. From this viewpoint, you can already see the glacier! Head back on the main trail and start hiking to Middle Joffre Lakes. After an uphill hike in a forested area, you will enter a clearing that offers views of the valley below. Further up this trail, you will be hiking alongside Joffre Creek on your left as you climb up a steep series of switchbacks where you can see the Lower Lake in the distance. Soon after, you have reached Middle Joffre Lakes that is even more beautiful than the first. This is a good spot for a break. The glacial water here is extremely cold; swim at your own risk.
Continue on the same trail to Upper Joffre Lakes where you will follow an uphill rocky path. Before the last lake, there is a turn-off where you can view a scenic waterfall that connects the Upper and Middle Lake. Head back on the main trail and 15 minutes later, you will see Upper Joffre Lakes. Although it seems you’re there, there is still a long walk through a narrow trail until you reach the lake. Once you are at Upper Joffre Lakes, the whole trail opens up, offering you a view of the entire glacier right in front of your eyes! After enjoying your time at the alpine lakes, make your way back down on the same trail.
Important Safety Information
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is one of our most popular destinations but it is also very remote. Once you are dropped off at the park, you are responsible for your own safety. There are no guides - this is NOT a group or guided trip, as Parkbus only provides transportation. Make sure you review basic safety information, and bring food and lots of water (it is not possible to buy food or water in the park). There is no cellphone reception in the park or in the parking lot, as it is remote wilderness. As is elsewhere in BC backcountry, you may encounter natural hazards, such as snowy conditions, poor visibility, wildlife as well as steep and dangerous cliffs, especially if you wander off trail (do not!).
We are using school bus vehicles on this route. Although a coach bus would have been preferred for this longer bus ride, we must stick to a school bus due to very limited parking space at the drop-off point. Due to limited space, coach buses were not able to safely turn around in the past - and we had to revert back to school buses. As school buses do not have a bathroom on board, we will be making a rest stop on the way to and from Joffre Lakes (at Whistler).
Stops in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
Joffre Lakes Trailhead
The bus will drop you off at the trailhead / parking lot from where you will be only 200m away from the first lake! For the most beautiful second and third lakes, however, you must be prepared to hike up!
Pickup Locations In Vancouver
Bank of China
Our buses stop outside Bank of China, near Burrard Skytrain Station, at 1025 Dunsmuir Street!