The three Joffre Lakes are some of the most stunning lakes you are likely to ever see. Each lake gets progressively more beautiful and impossibly turquoise from one to the next.  By the third lake the intense colour is breathtaking. The mighty Matier Glacier rises above and beyond the third lake, making the experience even more spectacular with such a looming presence.  

  • Very scenic drive to get there from Whistler
  • Shorter & less challenging than most other trails
  • Three amazing lakes to marvel at their colour
  • Dog friendly, unlike most Whistler area trails
  • The campsite is in a very natural setting, few signs
  • Becomes free of snow & hikeable as early as April
  • Alpine terrain extends in many directions
  • One tent site is on an island!
  • Stunning glacier looms above the campsite
  • Overcrowded much of the summer with hikers

Hike in Whistler

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJoffre Lakes Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRussett Lake Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlySproatt Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedge Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler

The Joffre Lakes trail is rough and tricky in some parts, but not terribly difficult. It is also short compared to Whistler area trails at just 5.5 kilometres(one way).  Hiking at a moderate pace, give yourself 1.5 - 2 hours to get to the third lake and campsites. Lots of trail construction work has been done in the past few years as a new trail has replaced much of the old trail. The old boulder section between the lower and middle lakes has now been covered with a new dirt trail.

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is centred around the three Joffre Lakes. All of them are beautiful on their own and each more beautiful than the last. The amazing turquoise colours of the lakes are caused by light reflecting off of the particles of glacial silt suspended in the water. On the trail you will immediately catch glimpses of the massive glaciers that feed these gorgeous lakes.

In the winter, with the lakes frozen and the trees weighed down with snow, Joffre Lakes takes on a serene beauty, with the low sun cutting through the trees and the forest brightly reflecting. The third Joffre Lake ends in a U-shaped valley where you will find the far side of the lake towering with glaciers relentlessly crushing down on the lake.  The sun fills the valley and the silence is wonderful.At the upper, or third Joffre Lake, there are several nice, though rugged places to camp. In a hilly, lightly forested section of paradise in between the impossibly turquoise Joffre Lake and the abruptly monstrous Matier Glacier descending from Mount Matier beyond. A waterfall cascades near the camping area. The campsite has one nice and well maintained outhouse.

You will notice several clearings for tents in the gravel and boulder strewn landscape(see the map below). Each one barely enough room for a tent, but the ruggedness adds to the beauty of Joffre Lakes. The park is wonderfully untouched by people. With the exception of the trail, some signs, outhouse and bridges, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is beautifully wild and picturesque. There is also a prominent helicopter pad close by as a reminder of how many injuries occur on the trail and the accessible mountains and glaciers around. There are in fact four distinct glaciers close by, Matier, Anniversary, Stonecrop and Tszil. Beyond Mount Matier there are two more, Twin One and Hartzell.

The Joffre Lakes trail is surprisingly busy most of the summer, which is a testament to how extraordinarily beautiful the lakes are, and how relatively easy the hike is. Unlike Wedgemount Lake, Black Tusk or Cirque Lake, which are to difficult for many hikers, Joffre Lakes is comparatively easy and certainly relaxing. Many hikes in the nearby Garibaldi Park are not family friendly and easy, but Joffre Lakes is.  Certainly the scenic drive to the trailhead from Whistler is part of the fun.

Squamish Hiking Trails

Levette Lake is a nice mountain lake located in the enormous Squamish Valley that drains the Squamish River into Howe Sound.  There are some nice views and ...
Read more
Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful stop in between Squamish and Whistler.  It's about 25 minutes north of Squamish, 11k south of Whistler.  The ...
Read more
Black Tusk is the extraordinarily iconic and appropriately named mountain that can be seen from almost everywhere in Whistler.  The massive black spire of ...
Read more
Brew Lake is beautiful mountain lake just 42 kilometres north of Squamish(Cleveland Ave), and is relatively unknown and seldom hiked.  The lake is ...
Read more
The High Falls Creek hike is a great hike not only for the beautiful scenery in and around the trail, but the drive to it as well.  The often passed by ...
Read more

Vancouver Hiking Trails

Rice Lake is a relaxing walk around a cute lake in Lynn Valley.  It is a family friendly hike although dogs are not welcome.  Roundtrip from your car the ...
Read more
Coliseum Mountain is one of several beautiful hikes in the Lynn Valley's beautiful Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.  It's not terribly difficult, but it is very ...
Read more
Mt Fromme is the thickly forested Mountain next to Grouse Mountain. If looking from the direction of downtown Vancouver, Fromme is just to the right.  It ...
Read more
This easy and strikingly beautiful park is yet another locals favourite.  So close to downtown Vancouver at only 30 minutes away, yet you feel as if you ...
Read more
Lighthouse Park is an extraordinarily little know piece of paradise, so close to to Vancouver as to see its tall buildings, yet immersed into a ...
Read more

Whistler Hiking Trails

Brandywine Meadows is a nice, relatively short hike to a massive flower filled valley high up in Callaghan Valley. Located 40 minutes south of Whistler, this ...
Read more
Madeley Lake, wrongly named "Powell Lake" on some maps, is a well hidden, though easily drivable lake in beautiful Callaghan Valley. Unlike the terrible ...
Read more
Sloquet Hot Springs is a wonderfully wild set of shallow, man-made pools fed by a small, all natural, and very hot, waterfall. The pools stretch from the ...
Read more
The trail to Whistler Train Wreck is an easy, yet varied route through deep forest, across a great suspension bridge over Cheakamus River, to a stunning array ...
Read more
Skookumchuck Hot Springs, located two hours north of Whistler along the edge of the huge Lillooet River. The name Skookumchuck means "strong water" in the ...
Read more