Joffre Lakes solo hike

14 Aug

Take the 99 north out of Whistler, follow the beautiful, winding drive up and through Pemberton, hit some crazy switchbacks and you will end up at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.  My sister recommended I do this hike by myself.  It was a hike she had done herself the previous year and really enjoyed._DSC9910I arrived there behind schedule due to construction on the way, and immediately felt discouraged by the sign suggesting the trek up would take 3 hours.  There is no service at the Park so I wouldn’t be able to assure Megan I hadn’t been demolished by the mountain.  As I got going up the very steep trail, my legs recalled the strain from The Chief and an inner voice was telling me to give up.  I saw the first lake and challenged myself to carry on.IMG_6136

There are  three lakes – each breathtaking in their own way, terrain differing as you reach higher elevation.

I decided to listen to music as I hiked.  I put on a new album (Ray LaMontagne – Gossip in the Grain), which I just bought and hadn’t listened to yet. It was the perfect soundtrack for the undertaking.  Each track seemed to perfectly match sections of the trail and lend to feelings I had while pushing myself forward.

So Lower Joffre Lake is the first you will see, right at the beginning of the hike. I spent a brief moment here, knowing I would return at the end of the hike. IMG_6141_DSC9893Feeling excited by the view I hiked a very steep hour and a half to Middle Joffre. The hike for me, by the way, was 2 hours up, and 1 hour down (I literally ran most of the way down).IMG_6160IMG_6202IMG_6312

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There were several carvings along the way

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Lower Joffre visible on the way – I got choked up here (photos do NO justice)

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Zooming in on Lower Joffre

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So beautiful!

The trail from the bottom to middle is the longest (as you saw in the sign) and it had so many different sections, different beautiful views, it was incredibly beautiful.  The steepness was challenging for me, but it was nice to share the path with many other hikers, some young children, and furry friends as well.

Middle Joffre was my favourite lake.  Something about the way it was hugged by greenery, had a few different lookout spots, and just seemed so extra vibrant.

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Glaciers!!

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Glaciers!!

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This water is collllld

There were a few groups of hikers here with me but I did a good job of making it look desolate eh?

Carrying on to the top, I was getting pretty determined and the terrain got a little more challenging and rugged, so I stopped a lot less for photos.

_DSC9854smIMG_6326Here is the Upper Lake.  I made it!  I made it!  By this point you scramble over boulders to get to this view, the trail continues on to the other side where people set up camp which you may be able to make out some tents across the lake.  I didn’t venture around since I was so tight on time.  Making it to the top felt great.

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Directly across is where people have camp sites set up right along the shore

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Crappy but fun panorama

I spent enough time up there to cool off, re-fuel, and enjoy the view, then I headed back down. Here are some of the same views…… 2 hours later in the day 😉 a few quick snaps I stopped for mid-run, and I did RUN (okay more like skipped and hopped and jogged?) it was fun.

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Super packed-down trail, super view

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3 Responses to “Joffre Lakes solo hike”

  1. Carol Myllyaho August 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

    What a beautiful country we live in! Glad you had a great vacay Laura and thanks for the beautiful pictures!

  2. Marla Eve August 14, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

    All beautiful views–can understand how it could make one cry!

  3. Marlo September 7, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    I love this! It takes me right back to that gorgeous place. I was truly awestruck. And YES, our country is beautiful! We are blessed! Thank you for sharing this! Your photography is incredible.

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