When I think of Canada the image of gorgeous, turquoise blue lakes surrounded by lush forests and glacier topped mountains immediately comes to mind. So of course that was what we were hoping to see a lot on our roadtrip through West Canada.
We had expected those views to cross our path once we entered the national parks in the Rocky Mountains but to our surprise we already encountered them at the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.
The trip from Whistler to Clearwater was with its five hour fifteen minutes quite a long one, so to break it up we searched for an activity along the way. Joffre Lakes Provincial Park came up and it was exactly what we were looking for.
This park can be found about an hour outside of Whistler and was established in January 1988. It offers a four kilometer one-way hike to its three lakes which are surrounded by glacier-laden peaks. That sounded absolutely perfect to us!
The first lake, the Lower Joffre Lake, is accessible to anyone as it’s only a ten minute flat walk.
Once you’ve seen the glaciers in the distance, it’s hard to keep yourself from wanting more. So we didn’t really stick around long at the Lower Joffre Lake. Up to the next one; the Middle Joffre Lake.
The hike took us through the forest and quickly got quite rocky and steep. It was pretty strenuous but that might also be because our pace was quite fast. We absolutely wanted to make it to the third lake as well and it’s always hard to assess how long you’ll need to finish the kilometers. But we didn’t have to worry at all. After about forty-five minutes of climbing (and not the two hours and a half displayed on the information signs below!!) we could already see the Middle Joffre Lake peek through the trees.
And it was absolutely breathtaking. The turquoise blue of the lake was like something I had never seen before. I had never expected to already see such blue water this early on our trip. I thought that would have to wait for the famous Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, but no; it was right there in front of us. I simply couldn’t take my eyes of it. Surreal!
Since we had started our day pretty early, there weren’t that many people around yet, so we took a seat and enjoyed a snack while we admired the stunning view in front of us.
But after a while curiosity won and we continued our hike to the end destination; the Upper Joffre Lake. Along the way we passed a beautiful waterfall which was a nice extra. The trail was once again uphill and quite rocky but about twenty minutes later, we were in front of the stunning Upper Joffre Lake. Wow!
With the rocks lining the shore, it’s less accessible than the Middle Joffre Lake, but some climbing later we could also touch the crystal clear water of the last lake. Victory!
We couldn’t really find a comfortable place to take a seat to have lunch at the Upper Lake, so we first headed back down to the Middle Joffre Lake and found ourselves a lovely spot by the water there. People were starting to arrive at the Middle Lake by then so it was getting more and more crowded. So try to do this hike as early as possible if you want to enjoy the views in silence.
But even if you can’t, this park is a definite must along the way. The crowds are something I’d have gladly accepted. I absolutely adored this hike and the stunning views. Hikes like these are my favorite because had we not had enough time to hike all the way to Upper Joffre Lake, we’d already have had an amazing reward with the Middle Joffre Lake. And the views along the way are also worth it.
The few hours we spent at Joffre Lake Provincial Park were probably my favorite hours of our Canada trip, so if that doesn’t convince you then I don’t know what will.