Hikes, Roadtrips

Winter Wonderland in Joffre Lakes

November 20, 2015
Joffre Lakes hike link 400m elevation, 11km, 3-5 hours

Upper Lake

I’ve been wanting to do this hike for years now and have been finding multiple excuses not to (the distance drive from Vancouver, the crowds, the rain). Finally, I got lucky with a break in the rainy weather and a free day with nothing planned. We woke up rather early as our sun sets now at 4:30 and drove the 3 hours up to the start of the hike (including a coffee stop). There were already cars up and down the stretch of highway that led to the parking lot, but the parking lot wasn’t full of cars because instead it was full of snow! We parked right next to the trail and Whiskey jumped out super excited about the white stuff, amusing all the day hikers while we got geared up.

the parking lot and start
kisses on the way to the camp ground

The first lake is a tiny walk from the parking lot, but even then I would suggest well soled boots if there is snow. Assuming you are planing on the hike past the first lake, I would highly recommend crampons because although the trail is very packed, it’s extremely slippery and you will spend most of the time back on your butt if you don’t have spikes. Although my sweet Vizsla was initially excited about snow and was fine while moving on the trails, she did get chilly if we stood still too long (like while waiting for a drone flight).

first lake
just really beautiful everywhere
the trail is very easy to follow

catching snowballs (sort of)

I really couldn’t believe how fast winter had hit here and everywhere I looked I was smiling at a winter wonderland. We took the drone for a couple spins but otherwise hiked up to the 3rd lake in a much faster pace than websites have you think. Because of the weather and season, the hike was less populated than normal but on weekends I hear it is a line-up and you must get here very early to find a camp spot. In the winter or shoulder season though, you may still find some moments to yourself and we were so happy we came despite the long drive time.

the second lake was already covered
Very happy we packed her Chillydogs jacket

a little waterfall on the way to the upper lake
upper lake
glacial water is naturally turquoise
the wind was blowing snow off the peaks

getting dark already on the way back

drone flight:

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