Mileage: 21.6 km (2.1 on road; 11.4 on official GDT; 8.1 on South Kanakasis Pass Alt)
Today it felt like we had a cheat code in place to avoid the smoke. At least until we got to camp. Upper Kanakasis Lake was so smokey we could not see across the lake. But despite that and all of our discussions on what criteria we would hold to bail out due to air quality, we climbed out of the smoke and into decent air.
The trail until Forks is the same as the official GDT that we did in 2018. It’s okay. Pretty. Busy. Flat and not particularly interesting walking. But at Forks the alternate takes you up to Three Isle Lake and over South Kanakasis Pass.
I honestly prefer the alt over the official route.
It’s less busy, is a more fun and scenic climb, and once you get over the pass into Height of the Rockies the view is breathtaking.
The pass itself is chill. Trees and meadows. We bumped into a handful of people (and were strangely asked if this was Toothless’s first hike…). Despite the people it’s much more calm than when we went up to Turbine.
The climb to Three Isle Lake has the bulk of the climb but that was fun and the view down the valley behind you reminded me of the descent off of Mount Whitney where the valley keeps going.
Once you get over the pass into BC, you are hit with an awesome view and you push past meadows quickly to catch up with the mountains. This kind of hiking reminds me of the sections of the GDT in Jasper or even Assiniboine (well the view, not the trail). The trail is good single track and is fun to walk.
Beaty lake is beautiful and the campground is nice but a little small with only four sites. The sites are large and can fit multiple tents and the facilities are nice (bear lockers, cooksite, decent outhouse).
Toothless climbed around the cooksite and got himself very dusty. We resigned ourselves to that and just brushed him off.
Dinner was welcome and bedtime routine went smoothly.
Once Toothless went to sleep Natasha and I were laying in bed and saw a hummingbird flying outside the tent. A nice sight before bed.