This past week I did something that has been on my bucket list for a long time…the Joffre Lakes hike. Joffre Lake Provincial Park is just North of Pemberton and it consists of a hiking trail that passes 3 gorgeous glacier-fed lakes. Last summer I saw so many pictures on Facebook of people visiting the beautiful turquoise lakes that I was determined to get to them this summer. As an artist, it is the colour of the lakes that attracted me to them, as well as the view of the Matier Glacier looking down on them. The lakes are stunning and the uphill steady climb was worth it. The hike took me about 3 1/2 hours all together with some times to sit and enjoy the lake. I couldn’t talk my family into hiking with me so I went on my own. Everyone told me to go early since it gets busy so I was there at 6:30am (I am an early riser!). I didn’t see anyone on my way up and I was able to enjoy the lakes in peace. On my way down there were tons of people making their way up. It felt really good to be walking down and seeing the look of disbelieve on everyone’s faces that I completed it already and that I was on my own.
It made me realize how important it is to plan out the things you want to do in life. Not just dream it….plan it and do it. Last summer I wanted to do it but I didn’t take the steps to plan it so the summer went by and it didn’t happen. This year I booked it in the spring to make sure it happened! What are the things you want to do? What steps can you take today to make sure they happen? I wrote a blog post recently about Taking a Leap and trying something new. Check it out here.
Keep on eye out soon for the paintings I am going to be doing that will be inspired by the gorgeous turquoise lakes! The colour of the lakes is something I haven’t seen before in nature and it is worth it to see. I feel so grateful to live in such a beautiful place in the world.
If you plan to go to Joffre Lakes here are some of my thoughts:
-The drive takes about 40 minutes from Pemberton on twisty, narrow steep roads. The man behind the desk at Pemberton Lodge looked at me dubiously and asked if I had a truck for the drive-but you don’t need a truck in the summer. It is all paved and fine. I imagine in the spring and winter you would need winter tires.
-arrive early-I arrived at 6:30am but you don’t have to go that early. Most people say the parking lot is full after 9:00am so go before that. When I got back at 10:00 it was definitely full with the overflow parking lot starting to fill up as well. You aren’t allowed to park on the road. I really enjoyed being there so early and enjoying the lakes on my own, but I found that the sun wasn’t on the lakes yet since it had to get up over the mountains. So I sat for about 1/2 an hour at the middle lake waiting for the sun and it was amazing to watch the transformation of the colours on the lake.
-The first lake takes 5 minutes to get to, the middle lake took me about 50 minutes-faster then they say and lots of other hikers said it was faster then they thought. I didn’t go super fast but kept a steady pace and didn’t stop too much. The paths between the first and second lakes are well marked, up hill all the way, with lots of wooden stairs to make it easier. From the middle lake, it took me about 30 minutes to get to the upper lake-which is what they said it would take. The path from the middle lake to the upper lake is much more technical-climbing over boulders and straight up. The waterfall before the last lake is incredible. I was so close to it and could hear the power of the water. The views from the upper lake are pretty amazing since you are so close to the glacier but the middle lake was my favorite.
-I did the hike in my running shoes but it probably would have been better with hiking boots since it could be easy to turn an ankle on the boulders. I just hate hiking boots and was happy to be in my running shoes! I also wore a sweat shirt and light wind breaker jacket-it was cold up at the top but I was hiking in the shade since I went so early. The hike is all in the sun without much coverage after the sun gets over the mountains (by 8:30am everyone looked quite hot climbing up).
-There are outhouses before the hike, at the middle lake (the middle lake one was disguising so bring your own toilet paper!) and the upper lake
-Of course bring a snack and water-you can’t drink the water from the springs or lake there
I would love to hear your experiences with the Joffre Lakes hike. Please share this with anyone that is planning on going. I hope I have inspired you to make the trip!