Thursday, July 18, 2013

[Hike] Joffre Lakes - British Columbia

Joffre Lakes are a set of three pristine lakes with a very tropical feel to them (unusually light blue and green water) situated with the backdrop of a pine forest and a glacier! - doesn't get any better for a photography enthusiast!

To get to the trailhead you must drive about an hour north on hwy 99 (a.k.a "Sea-to-Sky" hwy) from Whistler. The day I drove up there there was practically no one on the road leading up to it. May be because it was a weekday or maybe because this is less known? The road leading up to it is a steady uphill for several miles, with no gas stations or help so make sure you have a reliable vehicle!

The hike itself has three parts or levels corresponding to the 3 lakes. The lower lake is at the lowest elevation - it is practically flat (and somewhat downhill) walk from the parking lot. So this is something anyone that drives through should do. It gives you a good sense of the natural beauty, water color, contrasting plants and the glacier in the background... and almost makes you wonder -- can it get any better that this? -- but trust me it actually does get better for those that decide to head up!

But keep in mind that beyond the first lake this is no longer a "walk in the park". You will face a constant uphill until you get to the middle lake and the trail will include a section of boulder hopping  (fun!) and many points where the trail is unclear (but luckily there are flags on the trees to point you in the right direction -- pay attention to them!). The day I hiked, it started to drizzle so that added the element of slushiness to the trail as well. But, it was all totally worth it to be able to reach the upper lake and spend some time enjoying a SW and some gatorate with the view of the blue lake and the glacier!