Joffre Lakes Whistler Area Hiking Trails
Joffre Lakes is one of the most beautiful lakes you are likely to ever see. There are three lakes and they get progressively more beautiful. By the third lake the intense blue is breathtaking. The mighty Matier Glacier rises above the third lake, making the experience even more spectacular. The trail is rough and tricky in some parts, but not terribly difficult. The trail is 5k to the third lake so give yourself 1.5 - 2 hours(one way).
At Upper 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.
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, which is a testament to how extraordinarily beautiful, and 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.
Directions to the Joffre Lakes Trailhead:
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.