Day-use passes are required May 3 to October 9, 2023, for visitors to Joffre Lakes trailhead.
If you have a valid reservation for overnight camping, you do not need a day-use pass. You must carry proof of your reservation while in the park.
For details, visit the day-use pass page.
A free day-use pass is required to visit Joffre Lakes Park. Reserve your free day-use pass though our online day-use pass booking service. Passes are available to book starting at 7am, two days in advance of your planned visit.
|Trail or trailhead||Pass required||Timing||Overnight stays|
|Joffre Lakes||Trail (person)||All day||Day-use passes are not required for overnight campers. A camping reservation is required and must be carried at all times.|
The BC Parks reservations service allows you to purchase a backcountry camping reservation and have a tent pad guaranteed for you before leaving home. As there is no cellphone coverage in Joffre Lakes Park, your reservation must be made before you arrive at the park.
Backcountry reservations are required for all overnight stays in Joffre Lakes Park.
Camping is permitted only within the designated campground at Upper Joffre Lake, a 5.5km moderate-to-challenging hike from the parking lot. There are 26 backcountry tent pads, one urine diversion toilet, and a bear-proof food storage unit. The small gravel tent pads are located on the far (south) end of the lake and accommodate small backcountry tents.
Reservations are required year-round. The backcountry permit registration service allows you to purchase a backcountry camping reservation and have a tent pad guaranteed for you before leaving home. As there is no cellphone coverage in Joffre Lakes Park, you must make your reservation before arriving at the park.
Help keep the park pristine by practicing Leave No Trace camping. Pack out what you pack in and take it home with you. There is no garbage pick-up in the park.
Campfires are prohibited year-round.
There are four pit toilets located at the main parking lot, two pit toilets in the overflow area, and one pit toilet at Middle Lake. Two urine diversion toilets are located at Upper Lake, one at the viewpoint and one at the camping area. Bring your own toilet paper.
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.
All climbing opportunities are classified as mountaineering. They should only be attempted by experienced and properly equipped mountaineers.