Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park was situated under two hundred kilometres north of Vancouver and east from Pemberton. It had only been designated a provincial park about twenty-five years ago, though much earlier the lakes had been named after a French general from World War 1.

I pulled into the parking lot with barely an empty space and once I spied the turquoise water of Lower Joffre Lake mirroring the pines on the opposite bank, I was hooked. Above loomed Mt Matier (featured photo) with its melting ice cascading from Upper Joffre Lake to Middle Joffre Lake, to the one I stood near. The sun glistened on the snow covering the peak, making it impossible to turn back. 

I headed over the easy walking track towards Middle Joffre and hiked steadily for a good two kilometres before the path became steeper and uneven with tree roots and boulders. It was the weekend, so there were loads of other hikers along the trail, both scaling up and coming down. There was a small section where I literally had to crawl over rocks, but because of the natural beauty at every turn, I couldn’t turn back.

I passed Holloway Falls and reached the final lake, Upper Joffre, where I sat on a rock at the water’s edge eyeing patches of iridescent blue seeping through cracks in the ice. Matier Glacier faced the opposite bank. It had only been a 266 metre climb over a distance of five and a half kilometres one way. Although I did this hike several years back, the iridescent colour of the lakes, the amazing scenery, and the comradery along the trail still hold a vivid place in my memory. 

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