Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

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Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
ThirdLakePano 1000W.jpg
Upper Joffre Lake View
LocationPemberton, British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates50.3413° N, 122.4762° W
Area1460 hectares

Joffre lakes provincial park is a class A provincial park located 35 km east of Pemberton in British Columbia, Canada. It was established in 1988.

Three glacier-fed lakes are located in the park: Lower, Middle and Upper Joffre Lakes. The rock flour in the water reflects blue and green waves, and gives the lakes a turquoise colour. Joffre Lakes is a popular destination for hikers in the summer and mountain climbers in the winter due to its scenic lakes, glaciers and challenging peaks. In recent years the park's popularity has increased dramatically, creating controversy due to the volume of litter in the park[1] and drivers parking dangerously on the adjacent provincial highway.[2]


Access to the recreation area from the parking lot is up a 4 km trail. Upgrades have been made by the Parks Service in 2017 on this trail, and they hope to continue to upgrade the trail as far as the Middle Joffre Lake. The park has a range of activities to offer such as hiking, mountain climbing, camping and fishing. Summer access in reaching the glaciers requires proper knowledge, equipment and experience. The recommended season to hike here is from June to September. The park is open during the rest of the year, but Winter access is only available on skis or snowshoes.



Fishing is permitted in the park with an appropriate license.[3]


Staying on the trail is important for the preservation of the park, and for the safety of hikers. Lower Joffre Lake is a short distance away from the parking lot with no elevation gain. The trail to Middle and Upper Joffre lakes however is more challenging due to the greater elevation gain. Hiking beyond Upper lake is not safe because of the unstable glacial terrain present.

Dogs are not allowed in this park any more.


There are 26 small gravel campsites available for campers at the south end of Upper Joffre Lake. One pit toilet, and a bear-proof food storage unit is also available for the convenience of campers. Campfires are prohibited throughout the year.[4]

Year round camping is permitted, but during the Winter camping is more recommended at the Middle Joffre Lake due to the high avalanche risk.

The campsites are available on a first come first served basis. It is recommended that campers arrive early, and to create alternative plans, in case all of the sites are claimed prior to arrival.

Backcountry camping in inhibited rural areas requires a permit in order to camp, and it must be presented upon request by rangers. Permits can be purchased up to two weeks prior to arrival


Climbing in this park should only be done by those who have the experience to do so.


Map of bc pemberton joffre lake.png

The park is located off Highway 99 in East Pemberton B.C. on Duffey Lake Road. To view specific direction visit the Joffre Lakes website.

There is a large parking lot at the base of the trail with free access. An overflow lot located a short walking distance down the road is also available to park at when the main parking lot is fill. In order to address overcrowding during peak summer months, BC Parks implemented several safety measures in 2019, including towing vehicles illegally parked on Highway 99[5], and introducing weekend shuttle bus service that connects Joffre Lakes to Duffey Lake Provincial Park parking lot. [6]

Several operators offer bus service to the park from Vancouver on select days during peak season.


Trail Directions[edit]

The lower lake is located off of the main trail, and is a 5-minute walk on flat terrain from the trailhead.

The main trail, from the parking lot to the Upper lake, has a distance of 5 km, and an elevation gain of 370 meters.

Hikers pass through a Moraine about 1.5 km into the trail. Trail users are then met by a waterfall located a short distance up the trail from the middle lake.

The terrain following the waterfall is less maintained for the remaining distance up to the upper lake.

Trail Maintenance[edit]

The trail at Joffre Lakes has been the site of maintenance and upgrades since 2013.[7] The first part of the trail leading to the second lake, is a maintained dirt path. It has been supplemented with steps in some of the steeper areas to reduce the trail grade. This has had the unfortunate effect of the park now being overused.[7] The trail has also been rerouted during the upgrade, and is now slightly shorter than before.[7]


Joffre Lake is a wild habitat for Mule deer, Black Tail Deer, Black Bear and Mountain Goat during the summer. Some animals such as Cougars, Bobcat and Wolverine are temporarily residents that move pass the area.[8]

Mountains in the Park[edit]

Mountain Name Elevation
Mount Matier 2783m
Joffre Peak


Slalok Mountain 2653m
Mount Hartzeel 2615m
Mount Spetch 2579m
Mount Howard 2551m
Tszil Mountain 2377m


  1. ^ Zimmer, Eric (2017-06-13). "Hiking duo packs almost 40 lbs of other people's garbage out of BC park". Daily Hive. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  2. ^ "Hiker calling for change after Joffre Lakes parking madness". Global News. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  3. ^ "Freshwater Fishing Licence for British Columbia". Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  4. ^ Environment, Ministry of. "Joffre Lakes Provincial Park - BC Parks". Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  5. ^ "Safety measures implemented at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park". BC Gov News. June 25, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  6. ^ "Joffre Lakes Provincial Park Parking, Shuttle and Safety Information for Summer 2019". Better Environmentally Sound Transportation. June 25, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Joffre Lakes Trail Hike near Pemberton | How to Hike Joffre Lakes". Outdoor Vancouver. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  8. ^ "Joffre lake master plan" (PDF).