The Joffre Lakes trail started its life as an out of the way mountaineering training area. Years later and with some highway upgrades, it is now easily accessible as a day hike from the Greater Vancouver Region. This ease of access as well as some opportunities for some amazing photographs have resulted in the relatively small Joffre Lakes parking lot quickly filling up. The last time we tried to hike at Joffre was the Labour Day long weekend and it was completely packed with cars and people. Our friend Ryan captured the insanity of Joffre on video.
We wisely decided to turn around and instead revisited Parkhurst Ghost Town.
This however was an anomaly with our previous experiences at Joffre. Most likely this is because we accidentally stumbled upon the hidden secret of a private Joffre Lakes experience. The answer is simple, shoulder season camping!
Joffre is exceptionally well suited to shoulder season trips. The same people that can make it crazy (and dangerous) in the busy summer months are easily dissuaded with a little bit of (or promise thereof) bad weather. As long as you are prepared to hike and potentially set-up and tear down camp in the rain than an early June or late September trip may be the perfect opportunity for you to go.
However, make sure that you are well prepared for the cold as snow is not unheard of during these periods and make sure you choose a good spot. On our second trip we chose the very scenic island spot that was surprisingly available. While good for photos it was exposed and very cold at night! And as always make sure that any furry friends have a thick enough coat.
After this trip we bought Rey her camping sweater. Sometimes you have to be the type of human that dresses up their dog.
Hikers on Trip #1: Josie and Nick
Hikers on Trip #2: Darian, Kevin, Josie and Rey
Photos by Josie.