Analysing terrain data
2 - 3
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Joffre Lakes is one of those trails that everyone in BC has on their to-do lists.
Yes it's super popular and yes you might have to dodge groups of people posing for Instagram shots...
but there's a reason it draws crowds.
Less than a three-hour drive from Vancouver, a well-maintained trail and not one, but three turquoise blue glacier-fed lakes, each more spectacular than the last.
What more could you want? Lower Joffre Lake is a flat 5-minute walk from the carpark.
A viewpoint here looks up to the mighty Matier Glacier which hangs over Upper Joffre Lake.
A well-defined trail continues upwards, crossing Joffre Creek a few times, as it switchbacks up to Middle Joffre Lake.
At this point you've done most of the elevation.
You'll get your first glimpse of Upper Joffre Lake after another 15 minutes, although the trail continues around the lake for a good bit longer to the base of the glacier. The color of the lakes is due to "rock flour" — rock ground up during glacial erosion and suspended in the meltwater, reflecting green and blue wavelengths of sunlight. There are 26 campsites at the Upper Lake.
See http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/joffre_lks/#WalkInCamping for details.
Spots are likely to fill very quickly on summer weekends.
Also note that the parking lot fills up rapidly and parking on the side of the highway is not allowed.
It definitely pays to start early for this one.