Joffre Lakes Hike RatingJoffre Lakes Provincial Park is a hiking paradise in the summer and a skiing and snowshoeing paradise in the winter.  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 skiers and snowshoers between the months of November and April.

  • Very scenic drive to get there from Whistler
  • Shorter & less challenging than most other trails
  • Three amazing lakes to marvel at
  • Pristine, snowy winter wonderland
  • Safe snowshoeing if you keep to the trail
  • Alpine terrain extends in many directions
  • Considerably quieter than summer months
  • Stunning glacier looms above the lake
  • No longer dog friendly as of summer 2018
  • Long drive from Whistler

Whistler Snowshoeing

Blueberry Park Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBlueberry Trail  Brandywine Falls Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBrandywine Falls  Cheakamus River Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailCheakamus River  Elfin Lakes Moderate, Very Long Snowshoe TrailElfin Lakes  Flank Trail Moderate, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Nairn Falls Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailNairn Falls  Parkhurst Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailParkhurst Ghost Town  Rainbow Falls Steep & Very Short Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy, Flat, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Whistler Train Wreck Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake

 Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JanuaryJanuary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking FebruaryFebruary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MarchMarch  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AprilApril  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MayMay  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JuneJune  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JulyJuly  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AugustAugust  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking SeptemberSeptember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking OctoberOctober  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking NovemberNovember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking DecemberDecember

The Joffre Lakes trail is fairly well marked and almost always tracked out in the winter it is still possible to lose the trail after dark or or during heavy snowfall.  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.  Frozen over in the winter, you won't be able to marvel at the amazing turquoise colours the lakes, caused by light reflecting off of the particles of glacial silt suspended in the water.  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 of the Joffre Lakes 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.  The trailhead and parking lot will be buried in metres of snow in the winter months, however a small parking area is plowed throughout the winter.  There are plenty of signs, so even in snowy weather, you should easily spot them.  From the winter parking area you will likely have to climb over a plowed, wall of snow and then continue through the snow buried parking lot.  At the far end, the parking lot bends right and you will spot the trailhead sign.

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park Winter Map

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Joffre Lakes Snowshoeing Moderately ChalleningThe first of the Joffre Lakes is just an easy and short 2 minute walk.  Here you can see directly across the lake and beyond to your destination.  The third of the Joffre Lakes will be at the foot of the distant mountain you see in the V of the closer mountains.  If you trust the thickness of the ice on the lake you can take a short-cut by walking across the lake and picking up the trail as it skirts the right side of the lake.  This doesn't cut off much distance, however, and finding the marked trail may be tricky.  Continuing along the trail you slowly ascend through deep forest and across some small creeks.  Past the far side of the first of the Joffre Lakes you then cross a huge boulder field which can be tricky to cross when wet, snowy or icy.  On a sunny day, this is a great place to stop and take in the view.  All around you are massive pillows of snow resting on massive boulders buried far beneath.  The mountains across the valley seem to glow impossibly white.  It's here that you will notice that much of the hike will be in the shade.  Partly because of the deep forest, but also because the trail is mostly on the hillside facing away from the sun.  Because of this you will want to have lots of warm gear and some hot drinks or you won't enjoy the sights on the trail nearly as much.

Joffre Lakes Snowshoeing

Plenty of 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 of the Joffre Lakes.  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!

Joffre Lakes Snowshoeing

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is no longer dog friendly as of the summer of 2018.  Garibaldi Park does not allow dogs either, making the Sea to Sky region pretty dog unfriendly.  The reason for the dog prohibition in Garibaldi Park and Joffre Lakes is ostensibly out of respect for the resident animals in the park.  Dogs often chase, or get chased by bears, harass hoary marmots and deer, and inevitably defecate close to drinking water sources.  There are other dog friendly hikes around.  Nairn Falls Provincial Park on the drive to Joffre Lakes is dog friendly as well as many of the hiking trails in the Callaghan Valley in Whistler.

Joffre Lakes Snowshoeing

Getting to the Joffre Lakes Trailhead

Driving to the TrailheadFrom 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 (shown on the map below).  There are several worthwhile stops on the drive to Joffre Lakes.  Just five minutes from Whistler Village and you will drive along the edge of Green Lake.  There is an excellent pullout on the right side of the highway at a great viewpoint over the lake.  Wedge Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain, and Whistler Mountain lay beyond Green Lake.  Another 15 minutes driving and you will see the sign for Nairn Falls Provincial Park.  A short and easy 1.2 kilometre trail runs along the wild and crashing Green River to a viewing area on cliffs across from the falls.  In the winter the park gates are closed, so you will have to just park at the edge of the Sea to Sky Highway, next to the gates and walk in.  Continuing north on the Sea to Sky Highway, Pemberton is just another 5 minutes away.  This cute town is your last chance for a coffee shop, grocery store, liquor store or gas station before Joffre Lakes.  You will see two gas stations at the set of traffic lights, but if you want coffee, restaurants, etc, then turn left at these lights and you will find plenty of choices.

Joffre Lakes Parking in Winter

Free Winter Camping at Joffre LakesCamping is welcome year-round at Joffre Lakes and from November to May it is free and there is no need to register.   In the summer months, 26 camping areas can be found at the far shore of Upper Joffre Lake.  These are very rustic camping areas with no facilities other than two outhouses.  In the winter months this camping area becomes unusable due to its location being in the path of frequent avalanches.  Concern about the avalanche terrain becomes your main campsite consideration in the winter along with the lack of suitably flat areas to put up a tent around the lake.  Camping on the frozen, Upper Joffre Lake is often preferred by campers this time of year.  Keep in mind that winter camping is only suitable for the well prepared, equipped and experienced.  You will be sleeping just centimetres from solid ice in a brutally cold alpine environment.  For example, a cheap sleeping bag and sleeping pad will make your night painfully cold and miserable.  With the exception of some weekends and the occasional weekday, you can expect to be the only camper on the lake.  If you are equipped and can brave the cold, sleeping on Upper Joffre Lake is an experience you won't soon forget.

  Blueberry Park Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBlueberry Trail  Brandywine Falls Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBrandywine Falls  Cheakamus River Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailCheakamus River  Elfin Lakes Moderate, Very Long Snowshoe TrailElfin Lakes  Flank Trail Moderate, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Nairn Falls Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailNairn Falls  Parkhurst Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailParkhurst Ghost Town  Rainbow Falls Steep & Very Short Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy, Flat, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Whistler Train Wreck Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake

Whistler Hiking Trails

Brew Lake is beautiful mountain lake just a short drive south of Whistler and is relatively unknown and seldom hiked. Laying at the base of Mount Brew, Brew Lake lays in a massive alpine valley of enormous erratics.  ...
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Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several of ...
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Callaghan Lake Provincial Park is a relatively untouched wilderness of rugged mountainous terrain. The valley walls were formed by relatively recent glaciation. Evidence of this can be seen in the ...
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Whistler has an absurd number of wonderful and free hiking trails and Parkhurst Ghost Town certainly ranks as one of the most unusual, exotic and interesting. Parkhurst was a little logging town perched on ...
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Vancouver Garibaldi Hiking Camping Rental

Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  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  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMount Sproatt  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

 Best Whistler AerialAlexander  Best Whistler AerialBrandywine  Best Whistler AerialBlackcomb  Best Whistler AerialCallaghan  Best Whistler AerialCirque  Best Whistler AerialJoffre  Best Whistler AerialKeyhole  Best Whistler AerialLogger's  Best Whistler AerialMadeley  Best Whistler AerialPanorama  Best Whistler AerialSproatt  Best Whistler AerialParkhurst  Best Whistler AerialRainbow  Best Whistler AerialRusset  Best Whistler AerialTrain Wreck  Best Whistler AerialWedge Glacier  Best Whistler AerialWedgemount  Best Whistler AerialWhistler

 Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JanuaryJanuary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking FebruaryFebruary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MarchMarch  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AprilApril  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MayMay  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JuneJune  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JulyJuly  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AugustAugust  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking SeptemberSeptember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking OctoberOctober  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking NovemberNovember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking DecemberDecember

Best Hiking by Month

February continues to be great for snowshoeing in and around Whistler.  The days slowly get longer, but the temperatures stay consistently cold.  Expect several ...
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June is a pretty amazing month to hike in Whistler.  The average low and high temperatures in Whistler range from 9c to 21c(48f/70f).  The summer tourist ...
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Hiking in Whistler in October is often unexpectedly stunning.  The days are much shorter and colder but the mountains are alive with colour from the fall ...
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April in Whistler is a wonderful time of year.  The winter deep freeze ends and T-shirt weather erupts.  The village comes alive with the Telus Snowboard ...
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Best Whistler Aerial Views

Wedge Glacier descends the steep valley down from Wedge Mountain and flanked by Parkhurst Mountain and Mount Weart.  A couple decades ago the glacier ...
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Whistler has an absurd number of wonderful and free hiking trails and Parkhurst Ghost Town certainly ranks as one of the most unusual, exotic and ...
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Mount Sproatt, or as it is known locally as  just Sproatt, is one of the many towering mountains visible from Whistler Village. Above and beyond Alta ...
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Panorama Ridge is easily one of the most amazing hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The 15 kilometre hike from the trailhead at Rubble Creek to Panorama ...
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Whistler Hiking Trails

Taylor Meadows is a very scenic campsite and great alternative to the much busier and more well known, Garibaldi Lake campsite. Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park between Garibaldi Lake and Black Tusk, ...
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Ring Lake is a fantastically beautiful and wonderfully remote lake similar to Cirque Lake but considerably farther to hike to reach it. The 10 kilometre hike takes you through a tranquil forest, then to an ...
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The Rainbow Trail is a convenient and popular trail near Whistler Village that takes you to Rainbow Lake as well as the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail, Rainbow Falls, Hanging Lake, Madeley Lake, Beverly ...
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Black Tusk is the extraordinarily iconic and appropriately named mountain that can be seen from almost everywhere in Whistler.  The massive black spire of crumbling rock juts out of the earth in an incredibly ...
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