Hiking Joffre Lakes

Nestled in the mountains around a half hour drive past Pemberton, BC (several hours north of the world-renowned ski resort, Whistler, and around 4 hours from downtown Vancouver), lies the eye-wateringly beautiful Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.

If you’re familiar with BC, you’ll probably recognise the stunning turquoise glacier waters from social media, as many people hike their way up purely to capture those perfect pics for the ‘gram (yes, myself included).

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Unperturbed by warning signs for bears, my visitors and I set off on our hike off the lakes in search of the bluest waters we’d ever seen this side of the Pacific. With three main lakes to be explored, you’re treated almost instantly: the first lake is accessible within around 2 minutes.

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Don’t be fooled: my iPhone camera really can’t quite do it justice. We were all overwhelmed by the blue hues of the water, and had no idea what else was in store further on in the hike.

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Despite being buried deep in rural British Columbian wildlife, it never fails to amaze me quite how close I am to home! By mumbling about our hometown, we greeted responses of another family who were visiting from Cheltenham too. Such a small world!

After being treated to the first lake almost instantly, the second lake makes you work a little harder. Expect a forty-five minute uphill hike towards the so-called Middle Lake – and my goodness, you’ll be glad you did it. Don’t worry – if you get hot on your way up, there’s always ice-cold glacier water to guzzle en route.

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Glimmering through the trees, you’re teased with a quick glimpse and then there you have it: the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen.

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The colour really is unbelievable – we sat in the perfect picnic spot and puzzled over how even the glacier is the most brilliant shade of blue.

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I warn you now: the water is bloody freezing!

Barely being able to tear our eyes away from the view, we set off in search of the final treasure: Upper Lake. Being promised it’s not actually too far away and definitely worth one last push, we hopped to it. It was actually pretty easy, and just another 20 minutes uphill.

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There we have it: Upper Lake. We sat like mermaids across the rocks and watched the snow trickle down from the glacier to form the aquamarine hues of the lake.

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Despite being a sunny day up in the interior, I can’t describe the pain of the freezing water as you paddle!

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After an hour or so of sunbathing, we uncurled like limpets from the rock, for one last view of my favourite lake of the hike: Middle Lake.

We braved tiptoeing in the icy water along the log, but didn’t quite muster the courage to jump in!

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As the day progresses and the sun twinkles more, the lake just gets even more blue!

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After the most incredible day at these beautiful lakes, we were happy to hop back in the Jeep in search of our next adventure. Oh, with a brief re-fuel at Whistler and one last paddle in Lost Lake, just for good measure!

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Joffre, I’ll sure be back!

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