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Joffre Lakes gets June dusting of snow, making for 'magical' family hike

June-uary at a popular B.C. trail lived up to its name.

A B.C. woman who has hiked the popular Joffre Lakes Park numerous times was treated to a winter wonderland on Sunday.

Anick Dubé of Port Coquitlam had family visiting from Quebec and decided to take them on the trail.

"I had been told by a friend to maybe expect a few snowflakes up there, but that was way more than I had expected,” she tells Glacier Media in an interview.

Dubé, her 64-year-old mother and her 69-year-old aunt were ready to face the snow and determined to do the hike. As they approached the parking lot, they watched the temperature drop to one degree.

"Honestly, nothing goes as planned since my family arrived for a vacation, so the snow was just the cherry on top,” says Dubé.

Derek Lee, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, says snow can fall at higher elevations in that area in June. 

“Around 600 metres, last year this time of year, we did see some cold weather that brought snow then too,” says Lee. “Especially when you call [it] June-uary, it's kind of common to get that colder pattern.”

Lee tells Glacier Media temperatures are expected to rise three degrees above normal by Friday.

Lee notes it's rare if the snow sticks to the ground; Dubé recalled the snow sticking at the second and third lake, with "at least two inches of snow at the top."

Even though it was wet getting to the lakes, Dubé and her family enjoyed the experience. 

"We almost turned around before the second lake as I was worried about the weather conditions on our way down,” says Dubé. "It was very slippery but the scenery was magical.”

Photographs and videos she took captured it all. 

"We had the trail for us alone on our way up, peaceful and quiet,” she says. "Thankfully, we were all well-equipped to face the unpredictable weather of the mountains."

When the group arrived at the final lake, the sun made a brief appearance.

The trip took five hours to complete as they took their time. On the way down, they saw more daring people attempting the hike. 

"It got busier on the way down, but nothing like the crowd you experience during a summer weekend,” says Dubé.

This was her fifth time doing the hike and the first time for her aunt.

"Being from Quebec City, we are used to way more snow,” says Dubé.

Joffre Lakes Park hike turns to a winter wonderland on June 18, 2023. Anick Dubé