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Joffre Lakes

perth
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Joffre Lakes

Alternative option to a day spent doing the real touristy things in whistler was wondering if a trip out midweek to Joffre Lakes would be worth a visit? Just thinking of doing the middle lake return only not worrying about the upper lake, how long would this return take? we will be leaving Vancouver and heading out that way so can get up early and then maybe doing whistler village on the way back to Vancouver as well as the other stop off.

If we did this along with some of the waterfalls etc on the way there what would we be gaining from the P2P or the sea to sky gondola?

9 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Joffre Lakes

Joffre Lakes is suffering from Instagram Fever.

cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/joffre-l…

Even with an early departure from Vancouver, its going to be a good 2.5 or 3 hours before you get there and you are unlikely to be there ahead of the hoards coming from Whistler. So if you want to avoid "real touristy things" then Joffre is, sadly, not one of those things.

I'm trying to understand what "real touristy things" are for you. It sounds like you want to stick with low cost or free outdoor activities, eg hikes and walks? The gondolas are spectacular and the easiest way up the mountain, but not the only way. If you want to hike, there are alternatives that are not as well known. Are you up for some serious vertical gain over a 2 or 3 hour hike? Its not for the faint hearted.

https://www.trailpeak.com/

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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2. Re: Joffre Lakes

As mentioned Joffre Lakes is a 'real touristy thing' now-hordes await you.

Nanaimo, Canada
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3. Re: Joffre Lakes

Daughter did the Joffre Lakes about 10 days ago. She did the return trip to the third lake in three hours. Note that she didn't walk around the third lake to the end of the trail. They turned around at the third lake, when you first get there. They were camping at Alice Lake, just north of Squamish, and still managed to get a parking spot in the actual parking lot! About 9:45 arrival time and it was a Monday.

We talked to the ranger at Nairn Falls campsite. He won't hike the trail in the summer months ever. They figure they get 2,000 a DAY in the summer months. Parking is a nightmare.

I would head straight to the Joffre Lakes hikes, first thing in the morning. Do any stops after the hike.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Joffre Lakes

Wow. I really need to get back there and see what they've done to that trail. I haven't done it for almost 20 years, and it was 5 hrs to the second lake (one way) and 8 to the third, and it was a brutal climb to the third. We were loaded with gear and weren't in a rush, but it was a long way and not something I would have tried to do as a return trip in a day.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Joffre Lakes

i just came back from Whistler and did the hike last Thursday. (probably a slow day) We arrived at the parking lot around 9am and there were only 3-4 cars there. The hike was tough by the wooden stairs and I think it took about 2 hours to get to the middle teal colored lake which was amazing and well worth the hike. It took another 30 minutes to go past the Holloway waterfall and get to the third lake. We were going slowly and we sat and enjoyed the views so it took us about 5 hours round trip. (I'm 53, overweight, and not in good shape.) Totally worth it though and I plan to go back with my husband. It did get more busy around noon, but everyone was very nice and cordial so we enjoyed the entire route.

I went on 5 different hikes around Whistler (Joffrey Lakes, Cheakamus Lake Trail, Brandywine Falls Trail, Nairn Falls, and Old Train Wreck ) and this hike was the most spectacular. I didn't go on Peak to Peak though, because it was cloudy, rainy, and overcast most of the week. The hikes were great even with the drippy weather.

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: Joffre Lakes

Thank you so very much for sharing your experience! That is wonderful information, for others that are considering this hike, if they are older, and not in the best physical shape. That would be me! I might deliver over 200 papers twice a week, but doing that kind of elevation is very different, even without packing around heavy newspapers!

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7. Re: Joffre Lakes

I just did the hike last week. If you're seeking solitude you will be disappointed, but the hike is spectacular despite the hordes. I'd say plan for three hours--four tops--to hike to the second lake and back with about 30 minutes spent at the second lake. The trail starts out quite easy, but there is a steep section in the middle, before flattening out again near the lake. I also recommend wearing something you can swim in. It's hard to resist taking a (cold) dip in that beautiful lake!

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Joffre Lakes

Should one anticipate crossing paths with alpha predators when hiking here on a weekday (around the first week of September), or are there enough hikers to deter them from the Joffre Lakes hiking area?

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Joffre Lakes

Joffre's about as busy as the Pike Place Fish Market, and that's no joke. That would not be the trail to worry about alpha predators. Just don't strap a salmon to your backpack and you'll be okay. ;)

Edited: 28 July 2018, 15:34
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