The lake isn't always bright blue!
This Essay 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.
Joffre Lakes is a super popular hike in B.C., known for its stunning turquoise blue glacier water.
This past weekend I hit the road with some friends from Vancouver, to take on the breathtaking hike — and there are definitely some things I wish I knew before going.
When it comes to seeing the iconic blue water, timing is everything. If you go at the wrong time of year you'll be facing a very different view.
I made that, and a few other, mistakes that I'm willing to share — so save someone else the headache.
Despite a few hiccups though, the hike was definitely worth experiencing.
Morgan Leet and friend at Joffre Lake hike.Morgan Leet | Narcity
It is located in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, about a three-hour drive from Vancouver — which is where I live. I went with a group of three people, leaving bright and early int he morning to make the most out of our adventurous day trip.
The entire trek was stunning and filled with everything from massive trees to snowy mountain peaks.
Being up in the remote area of the mountains made me feel like I was a world away from the city.
It's the perfect activity for a day of reconnecting with nature — but remember these six tips before going!
Don't go in spring
Morgan Leet and friend at Joffre Lake.
I drove up to the provincial park expecting to see three bright blue lakes on my hike. To my great surprise — they were all frozen over with snow on top of them.
Although it was a sunny May day when you're that high up in the mountains the snow does not melt quickly.
If you want that picture-perfect hike, go in July or August instead.
Wear proper footwear
I saw a lot of people on the hike attempting it in sneakers without any grip — and not doing very well.
Especially with the risky weather conditions up in the mountains, you need proper footwear so you don't slide. Even worse, without hiking boots, you could twist an ankle.
Investing in a good pair of hiking boots or shoes is definitely worth it!
It's not a super easy hike
AllTrails rates the total hike as "moderate."
As an avid hiker, I found it pretty hard to do though. The incline is super steep in most sections, and the trail has some rocky terrain.
Don't go expecting a light walk, because you will be surprised!
Arrive early in the morning
Even though the lakes were covered in snow, the parking lot was full when we arrived at 9 a.m.
In the summer it is even busier, and the parking area is not large. There is an overflow parking lot — but that was also almost full by the time we left.
The weather changes while you hike
Even in the summer, the weather is just different in the mountains.
On our hike, it was a blizzard one a minute and then sunny the next. I probably took my sweater on and off at least five times.
If it's a hot summer day, pack lots of layers — because it's likely cold at the top.
Bring bear spray
A bear in the woods.
In general, go prepared for a backcountry hike. Bear spray is key when hiking anywhere — but especially in B.C.
On our drive home, we spotted a bear right outside the park. Luckily, we were safe and sound in the car, but it was a reminder that the wildlife is not to be messed with.