Climbed a Mountain in BC to 3 Stunning Bright Blue Lakes and Passed a Waterfall (PHOTOS)


This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Narcity Media.

I’ve had the chance to do some of the best hiking in BC since moving here a year ago. My hike last weekend was my favorite so far, and it certainly lived up to all the hype.

I did the Joffre Lakes hike, climbing up to three stunning bright blue lakes, all surrounded by massive mountains. The three-hour hike near Whistler even takes you past a beautiful waterfall.

If you are planning a visit to BC or are a local, this is definitely a place worthy of a bucket list.

The hike is rated as moderate on AllTrails and is 7.4 kilometers long. You do gain 491 meters of elevation gain though, and although I hiked quite often, I found it quite strenuous. You definitely need good hiking shoes and some water.

I recommend going during the shoulder season as I did, to avoid the massive tourist crowds at this popular spot. I went in mid October so it was still nice and sunny but not crowded.

I went with a group of four and arrived at the parking lot at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park around 10:30. We had no trouble finding parking which was a huge plus. I heard that in July and August this hike is packed.

If you go too early or too late in the season, you may not see the vivid colors of the lake. I actually went back in the spring too, and they were all still frozen.

However, October was the perfect time to visit, and I was delighted to see each lake in a stunning shade of blue-green.

Blue-green water in Middle Joffre Lake.Morgan Leet | Narcity

The hike begins by taking you to the first lake in just five minutes. It’s the least colorful of them all, but still beautiful.

Lower Joffre Lake.Lower Joffre Lake.Morgan Leet | Narcity

Then it’s a steep incline to get to the middle lake. The hike is full of incredible views, taking you through forest and mountain peaks.

View of the Joffre lakes trail.View of the Joffre lakes trail.Morgan Leet | Narcity

The middle lake is where you see everyone queuing for photos because the color is unreal. There is plenty of space to stop and rest after a tough climb.

I even saw a few people bathing in the water, but it was freezing cold so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Middle of Lake Joffre.Middle of Lake Joffre.Morgan Leet | Narcity

After a short rest, my group left and we were surprised to pass a beautiful waterfall. The lakes are definitely the reason people do this hike, but the waterfall was like a little bonus.

Holloway Falls in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.Holloway Falls in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.Morgan Leet | Narcity

The last lake is not too far from the middle one, but the slope is steep. When we arrived I was blown away. The third lake is the biggest, and although less green, it was my favorite.

Morgan and his friends at Upper Joffre Lake.Morgan and his friends at Upper Joffre Lake.Morgan Leet | Narcity

It has clearer water than the middle lake and was a brilliant crystal blue. The view of the mountain peaks all around was breathtaking.

Top of Lake Joffre.Top of Lake Joffre.Morgan Leet | Narcity

We stayed up and enjoyed the views for a while before heading back down. The descent is much easier, and with our stops included, we completed it in about three hours.


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