Although the trailhead to Joffre is almost a three-hour drive from Vancouver, Scott, Aaron and Cole spontaneously picked me up at 2pm and we hit the road to squeeze the most out of the remaining evening hours of light of British Columbia Day.
The parking lot is directly on the right hand side of the highway and is thus impossible to miss. There are outhouses at the start of the well-marked trail, along with signposts offering an estimation of time and length (time-wise the numbers are massively overestimated).
The first lake is only about two minutes from the parking lot, offering the first pristine glimpse at the bright turquoise of the glacier water that Joffre is so well-known for. The hike up to second lake took us forty minutes, and third lake an additional twenty, making the whole hike up a mere hour. The 11km round-trip hike was 1.5 hours (not the 5 hours suggested by the maps).
The trail is a little steep in areas, but the terrain lacks obstacles and is thus often filled with jean-wearing tourists (the kind who don’t typically go for hikes). Although I can appreciate that this makes Joffre much more accessible to people who all should see the stunning beauty of the three lakes, it also takes away a bit from the rewarding experience of it all.
Camping is also available just beyond third lake, where you can fall asleep to the awe-inspiring sound of the glacier a few feet from your tent.
*Including photos by Cole, Scott & Aaron