I Hiked Up A Mountain In BC To 3 Stunning Bright Blue Lakes & Past A Waterfall (PHOTOS)

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

I’ve been lucky to do some of the best hikes in B.C. since I moved here a year ago. My hike this past weekend was my favourite so far though, and it definitely lived up to all the hype.

I did the Joffre Lakes hike, climbing 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’re planning a visit to B.C. or are a local, it’s definitely a bucket-list-worthy spot.

The hike is rated as moderate on AllTrails, and is 7.4 kilometres. You gain 491 metres of elevation though, and even though I hike pretty often I found it pretty strenuous. You definitely need good hiking boots and some water.

I recommend going during the shoulder season like I did, to avoid the massive crowds of tourists at this popular spot. I went in mid-October, so it was still nice and sunny but there weren’t too many people.

I went with a group of four and arrived at the parking lot at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park around 10:30 a.m. We didn’t have trouble finding parking, which was a huge plus. I’ve heard that during July and August this hike is packed full.

If you go too early or late in the season though, you risk not seeing the lake’s bright colours. I actually went back in the spring as well, and they were all still frozen over.

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

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

The hike starts by taking you to the first lake in just five minutes. It’s the least colourful 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 unbelievable views though, taking you through the forest and past mountain peaks.

View from Joffre Lakes Trail.View from Joffre Lakes Trail.Morgan Leet | Narcity

The middle lake is where you see everyone lining up for pictures because the colour is unreal. There’s lots of space to stop and rest after a difficult climb.

I even saw a few people taking a dip in the water, but it was freezing cold so I would not recommend.

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

After a short rest, my group headed up again, and we were surprised to pass by a beautiful waterfall. The lakes are definitely the reason people go on 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 isn’t too far from the middle one, but the incline is steep. When we arrived, I was blown away. The third lake is the biggest, and although less green-looking it was my favourite.

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

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

Upper Joffre Lake.Upper Joffre Lake.Morgan Leet | Narcity

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

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