Matier Glacier of Joffre Lake, BC
Cold glaciers are often associated with far away northern areas. But within 3 hours' drive on the Sea-to-Sky Hwy 99 up from Vancouver, their spectacular beauty is within the easiest to imagine reach.
Some 35 km beyond Pemberton, towards Duffey Lake, there's Joffre Lake Provincial Park with its spectacular three lakes. They can take everyone's breath away with their stunningly looking turquoise colours thanks to glacial silt suspended in water and reflecting the light. The Lower, Middle and Upper lakes are located along the 5.5 km long trail of medium difficulty. The most spectacular is the Upper Lake (1,564 metres above the sea level) in the presence of Joffre Peak (2,721m) and the larger ice field of Matier Glacier.
The provincial park was created here in 1988 and is a great place to hike, camp, watch wildlife, fish and learn a lot about geology and glaciology. The areas shaped by activity of the Matier Glacier are clearly visible when watching lateral moraines and glacier formed valleys.
The glacier ice field can be reached after an hour's hike from the area of the Upper Lake which also serves as an excellent camping ground for many hikers before a final attack for the glacier. From this point on the trail runs only upwards and sometimes a random hike can lead through a larger and unmarked field of boulders; in places with sounds of roaring streams beneath.