Mileage: 20.5 km (1.1 km from Porcupine to GDT, 10.9 km GDT to Sunshine Alt, 3.0 km Sunshine Alt , 3.6 km GDT to Healy Creek Trail, 1.9 km Healy Creek Trail)
Porcupine to Healy Creek
We woke at around 6am today finally rested and recovered from the poor sleep from the past day. Toothless was in a great mood and ready to get exploring.
It took us a while to break camp. One other hiker from a group that came in last night was making breakfast at the cooksite so we chatted a bit while Natasha got water and took the tent down.
He gave us some parting warnings about how steep the trail out was, took a photo of us and away we went sometime after 8am.
It took us just over an hour and a half to climb out of Porcupine Campground and go fully over Citadel Pass.
The pass was pretty, flat and only a bit buggy so we took a break there. After a diaper change, snacks and getting Toothless in the carrier I started getting bit or stung so I just needed to start walking. Thankfully right when the giant marmot decided to check us out.
The hike to Sunshine Village was decent trail and fast. I felt nasty though. The air was warm and it just clung to my skin. I swear the smoke is holding humidity in. It’s not that hot but it’s almost unbearable.
We got to Sunshine Village and almost nobody was there. Another group of GDT hikers were there on the patio and a few other hikers sat on the stairs outside of Trappers but that was it.
We took a table, next to an outlet, and took a break. The doors were open so we used the bathroom and vending machine. Right when we were about to get water and use the bathroom one final time, we noticed they locked the doors. This being 2:30pm, with people in the building, and about 2 minutes after Natasha was in the building made me think they locked the doors to keep us out.
We packed up and changed a diaper and did one final check for water. Nothing outside.
So with no water and needing a toilet we left hoping we would find at least one of those soon.
Water came quickly; I grabbed water and we started hiking again. Toothless needed a nap and waited patiently for me to collect and treat the water.
The hike over Simpson Pass is almost forgettable. Then a quick turn on the Healy Creek Trail made and easy evening walk towards camp.
The camp is, oddly enough, one of the best Banff campsites I can remember. Good water, wood chip tent pads, a large picnic table and bear lockers.
We found three backpackers, a couple from Coleman and the other GDT hikers there.
Dinner was pretty social. The GDT hikers got a resupply at Sunshine (from friends who hiked up because the gondola is not operating) and had some refreshments to share. We ate our dinner, Toothless roamed and we all chatted. Toothless met the dog owned by the couple from Coleman and learned he did not like the dog licking his face. After that debacle he forgave the dog but only would watch from the other side of the picnic table.
Overall this was a nice evening and oddly needed.
We got to bed late and found that Natasha forgot to fully zip up the tent door so she cleaned out the dead flies and made the bed. Toothless banged sticks and rocks against a couple larger boulders. I told him he was in a rock band but he didn’t seem to get how hilarious this was.
After trying to work through Toothless being over tired we got him peacefully asleep and had a quiet evening.