Free day use passes may be required to visit. For details, see the Reservations section.
Only experienced and well-prepared mountaineers should attempt mountain climbing or venture onto glaciers and snow fields.
The trail from the parking lot leads past three lakes: Lower, Middle, and Upper Joffre Lakes. Elevation gain from the parking lot to Upper Joffre Lake is approximately 400m. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails.
The viewpoint at Lower Joffre Lake is just an easy, five-minute walk from the parking lot. If you carry on, the trail becomes steeper, but the more challenging trek to Middle and Upper Joffre lakes is well worth the reward: a sweeping view of rugged peaks, icefields, and cold, rushing streams beneath the Matier Glacier.
Continuing on from Lower Joffre Lake, the trail winds upward through old-growth forests of hemlock and spruce and along talus slopes. At Middle Joffre Lake, you’ll want to stop to photograph the scene in front of you. The lake’s pristine turquoise waters are fringed by sub-alpine forest and backed by rugged Coast Mountain scenery.
The final stretch of the hike is narrower and rougher and brings you to the largest and perhaps most stunning of the three lakes, Upper Joffre Lake. Here you stand beneath the frozen cascade of Matier Glacier, with a fine vantage of the 2,721m (8,927ft) Joffre Peak.
In the warm afternoon sun you can hear the thunderous crashing of ice as it calves from the glacier and rockfall from the slopes above. Because of the instability of glacial terrain, scrambling upslope to get a closer view is not recommended.
Be sure to take insect repellent, as mosquitoes and black flies are often present.
Pack out your garbage and take it home with you. There is no garbage pick-up in the park.