Joffre Lakes Trail in the Winter Whistler Snowshoeing
Joffre Lakes is yet another amazing snowshoeing trail near (kind of) to Whistler. About 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Whistler gets you to the Joffre Lakes trailhead. Located up on the Duffy Lake Road north of Pemberton, Joffre Lakes is well known for its incredibly surreal, turquoise water. In the winter of course all three of the Joffre Lakes are frozen over but the trail is popular with skier and snowshoers between the months of November and early June (depending on snowfall). Though the trail is fairly well marked and often snowshoe and ski tracked in the winter it is possible to lose the trail after dark or after or during heavy snowfall.
So caution should be taken on this trail. Make sure you don't go snowshoeing to Joffre Lakes immediately after heavy snow. Pick a nice, sunny day and leave yourself lots of daylight and be prepared with headlights as the winters bring very early sunsets, especially in the mountains. The trail is sometimes steep as you gain 400 metres of altitude in just 5k trailhead to the third Joffre Lake. On snowshoes expect to reach the third lake in about two hours.
On a sunny day the frozen lake is beautiful and almost warm feeling. However, as soon as the sun goes behind the mountains the temperature gets bitter cold so be prepared with very warm clothing on any snowshoeing adventure there. You do occasionally see people camp overnight at Joffre Lakes in the winter. The usual campsite area is buried in snow as it lays at the base of the mountains so people usually put their tents directly on the frozen lake. Extraordinary!
Trailhead Parking Directions for Joffre Lakes:
From Whistler, zero your odometer in Whistler at Village Gate Boulevard and follow highway 99 north toward Pemberton. At 32km you will arrive at Pemberton, an
intersection, with a Petro Can gas station on your left and Mcdonalds to your right. Continue straight, through Pemberton.
At 39km turn right at the sign to Lillooet. Follow this winding road, and soon you will pass Lillooet Lake on your right as the highway ascends steeply. You are only 20 minutes from the parking lot now.
At 65km, you will see the large Joffre Lakes parking lot on your right.