near Gates, British Columbia (Canada)
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Several visitors on the day were overheard calling the area "Little Banff" (in Mandarin). That seems a good description of the popular trails covered by this track.
Parking, trails, and lakeshores can be congested at peak summer holiday hours.
A Tribal Elders' insight enshrined on the interpretive board at the main parking lot states "The People and the Land are One".
Four kinds of biting flies plus mosquitos were clapped on the day (August 4).
Technical Note: Local mountains possibly interfere with GPS accuracy, and the Track collected in the field was poorly georeferenced and could have been locally misleading if followed blindly. Consequently, this Track is re-digitised in a Garmin App by following "Open Street Map" roads and trails. The Waypoints were collected by Mobile GPS and may have location inaccuracies for the same reason.
At 9 AM on an August Sunday the main parking lot was completely full, and this overflow parking location was filling up rapidly. It is necessary to walk a few hundred meters on the highway shoulder to the Main parking lot.
Main Parking, toilets
Best to arrive as early as possible. On a busy August Sunday the Main parking was full and the overflow almost full by 9 AM. At the end of the day hundreds of latecomers were still parked on highway shoulders for some distance towards the west. Some highway shoulders are posted with No Parking Signs. Parks security staff were on hand to ensure respect for "Lot Full" signs, etc. There was a minimum 30-minute lineup for the two outdoor toilets at the start of the trail.
Lower Joffre Lake - shoreline
A short side trail leads to the lakeshore.
Uphill section of trail commences
The trail begins a moderate steady climb here, is locally rough or slippery
Along a mountain stream
This is the main outflow from the glaciers and the Middle & Upper Joffre Lakes.
Views towards North over Lower Joffre Lake
After gaining elevation there are good views back over Lower Joffre Lake.
Top of uphill trail section
The trail flattens at this point and the trek to Middle Joffre Lake goes quickly from here.
arrive at Middle Joffre Lake
The smaller of the three lakes. These are glacier-fed and very cold waters, even in mid-summer, however many do swim here.
Middle Joffre Lake - shoreline
The eastern shoreline is the focus of swimming, sunbathing, yoga, picnicking, photography, resting, etc and can become congested. The lake is extremely cold fresh glacier meltwater.
Along the stream connecting Upper & Middle Joffre Lakes.
arrive at Upper Joffre Lake
Nice views of lake and mountains through sparse sub-alpine forest.
Must traverse part of a large boulder field to reach the most popular section of lakeshore. This is an "end moraine" from a past glacial ice advance. Congested on the day, with large volumes in and out, use extra patience and caution when transiting with less experienced people across the hazardous boulders.
Upper Joffre Lake - shoreline
A popular resting and eating spot. The boulder field continues to the lakeshore, and nice sitting spots are hard to find. Many turn back here, and so does this track. However the trail continues another 1/2 km along the west shore of Upper Joffre Lake, where these is a designated prepay camping site and a helipad.