WHERE: Whister & the Joffre Lakes
WHEN: June 2016
HOW LONG FOR: 2 Days
We arrived in Whistler after the most beautiful drive along the Sea-To-Sky Highway from Vancouver. Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the huge Olympic Rings serve as a proud reminder. We stayed at the Pinnacle Hotel, who very kindly upgraded us to a deluxe room, where all rooms had a little kitchenette (and a hot tub!). We used this as an opportunity to save some money and cook our own food, so I don’t really have any food recommendations for Whistler. I can, however, report that the S’mores frappe at Starbucks is heaven in a cup.
Whistler village has everything you need, but it does have the feel of a ski resort (which, to be fair, it is!). Personally, I’m not the greatest fan of resorts, so we drove an hour up the road to spend the day at the Joffre Lakes. First, let me say that this was my favourite hike of the trip. Why? Because it didn’t feel like a tourist attraction. It didn’t feature in my guide book and it isn’t something that jumps out at you when reading about things to do near Whistler. I actually stumbled across the Joffre through the travel blog Go Live Explore (it’s pretty good- have a read!). We got there pretty early (a good tip for all the Rockies hikes to be honest), but even later on when it got busier, it didn’t feel crowded.
There are three lakes, and the hike around all of them and back took us 5 hours. The lower lake isn’t far from the parking lot – anyone can get there. The walk to the middle lake was steep, but the path was clear. The walk to the upper lake felt a bit more perilous! The path was less obvious (we took a wrong turn on our way down and got lost for a couple of minutes – thank god for GPS!) and secure, requiring you to climb over a few rocks. Personally the middle lake was my favourite, but the view from the upper lake was also spectacular and definitely worth the hike.
A couple of tips for hiking the Joffre Lakes:
- Bring snacks, lunch and loads of water. There’s nowhere to buy food.
- Wear layers. You can go from freezing cold to boiling hot in minutes
- If you need to pee, use the loo at the parking lot. The one at the upper lake is grim.
Watch our travel diary….
More posts from our Canadian Roadtrip…
- The Sea to Sky Highway
- Whistler & the Joffre Lakes
- Jasper National Park
- The Icefields Parkway
- Banff National Park Part 1: Banff Town, Lake Minnewanka, & the Johnston Canyon
- Banff National Park Part 2: Lake Louise & Moraine Lake
- Yoho National Park
- How To Spot Wildlife in the Canadian Rockies