Saturday, July 15, 2017

Joffre Lakes Trail

Within minutes of the trailhead you are at Lower Joffre Lake with a stunning view of the Mt Matier glacier. That alone is worth the three hour drive (tho we'll never do it again, ha ha! Six hours in a car is crazy.). Then you meander up in the cool shade and emerge out on a beautiful view and one of many torrential glacial rivers. Followed by about 20 minutes of somewhat arduous incline, but the trail is still groomed. It took us 50 minutes to get to equally gorgeous Middle Joffre Lake. Then you hit a boulder field that is not exactly relaxing to navigate, as you try not to turn an ankle. From here the trail, less groomed and some roots, leads to the campground at Upper Joffre Lake where we saw several tents. Arrived in 1 hr 50 minutes. The whole hike including lunch/photo breaks took 3 hrs 50 minutes.

Tips: Leave early — we arrived at 9 and there were twelve cars in the lot, and a few people already completing the hike. On the way back down there were quite a lot of people heading up, and it was a weekday. Parking lot was packed when we returned. Wear bug spray (mosquitos swarm whenever you stop moving, tho they are not too aggressive). To get there turn right towards Lillooet in Mt Currie (small community after Pemberton) just after the little white church. There is zero signage telling you that that is where highway 99 continues, and zero signage on highway 99 after that turn to indicate you are going the right way. If you keep going straight through Lil'wat Nation, you will eventually see a small official sign with the strangest wording:

Highway 99
to Lillooet
Wrong Way

If you're going to bother putting up a sign, why not say "–> Highway 99", rather than a "This is not highway 99"? smh...

The pros: scenic drive, gorgeous views, three beautiful lakes, a decent workout but not too challenging, groomed trails, toilet at campsite. The cons: three hours from Vancouver, very popular, toilet at campsite.

Joffre Lakes!

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