We finally took Tessa for her traditional birthday hike to porcupine creek yesterday. She turned eight on July 8, but until a few days ago, the trail was closed with the ubiquitous yellow tape warning hikers to stay away.
It’s still shocking to see the devastation created by the June flooding, but no longer is it any surprise. It’s pretty much expected.
On the first K, the porcupine creek trail has been washed away in a couple places but it’s easy enough to walk on the bank without exposing yourself to any danger. The creek bed is double or triple the width in some places.
Although I’ve seen a lot of flood damage, I still find myself shaking my head at how the landscape has been altered by large volumes of fast moving water.
The valley is wide for the initial kilometre so there’s lots of easy terrain to walk on. There used to be a bridge crossing the creek at about 1K where the trail from Wasootch comes in, but all that’s left are a few planks and a short piece of railing.
Soon after the washed out bridge, the valley suddenly narrows with steep canyon walls and it was too difficult for us to continue with the creek as high as it was running. It was a cool day and we didn’t feel like getting our feet wet. In the past, we’ve never had any problem navigating past this obstacle but the creek seemed a lot deeper than ever before.
In previous years, we enjoyed this particular hike in July because it was always hot and Tessa had easy access to the cool water.
That put an end to our foray into porcupine creek. We backtracked to the Wasootch to Baldy pass trail heading north and still had a pleasant hike to the Baldy pass trail, and hiked for a ways on Baldy pass. Baldy pass is showing some serious flood scars with cavernous washouts in the middle of the trail, but still navigable.