Sundance canyon offers unparallelled scenery but the trail can have quite variable conditions. After skiing 2.4K you’ll come to the Healy creek junction. The Healy creek trail is trackset for about 2.7K to the Brewster creek junction. I’m hoping Chuck will give a description and add a few photos. (Although I didn’t see Chuck, I was told by some other skiers he was checking out Brewster creek).
With the June flooding taking out the bridge at the Healy creek trailhead, the Sundance Canyon and Healy creek trails can only be accessed from the Cave and Basin. I’ve always preferred to start at Healy creek and avoid the Cave and Basin area because the trail suffers from heavy foot traffic.
From the parking lot, it’s a 500 metre walk to get to the trailhead. There are bathrooms in both buildings that you’ll pass along the way, the Welcome Centre and the Cave and Basin itself, but they aren’t open on Mon and Tues.
It was a cold walk today. It was -5°C but with the wind, that 500 metres was pretty nippy. You’ll also be exposed to wind as you ski along the river. It’s cold but you can’t beat the scenery. The snow temperature was -8°C. Easy waxing with any old blue.
As expected, the first 2K of trail was beat up from the walkers. There were still two decent tracks, however, and once on Healy creek the skiing was wonderful. The Healy creek trail is only trackset to the Brewster creek junction, but Bonar and David said they skied all the way to Healy creek as there are skier tracks in the ungroomed snow.
- Looking at the Ribbon creek Live Grooming Report, I’m thrilled to see that Jeff groomed(and probably trackset) the Skogan pass trails today.
Photos from Sundance and Healy creek. I’ll add captions to the photos later.
December 30th 2013
Update on Brewster access from Healy Creek:
Talked to Parks Canada today in Banff and they say the Healy Creek bridge is less of a priority than the Spray Bridge at the 9km between Banff & Canmore.
Hopefully the Healy start point will accessible for next season!
Yes, we headed out on the Sundance and Healy Creek trails first (getting to the east side of where the bridge was washed out at the Healy Creek parking on the Sunshine access road). Then I went up the Brewster Creek trail to Sundance Lodge.
As Bob says, it was a cold start at the Cave and Basin, facing into the prevailing west wind along the river, but we soon warmed up as we got into the trees. No wonder they have not been able to replace the Healy Creek bridge… the flood damage there is extensive.
I had to break trail up Brewster Creek, but travel was easy on an improving snowpack as you climbed higher. Snowmobile tracks were evident under the recent snow, until about 3 km before the lodge where the first new bridges have been put in place. Yes, bridges, where there never were bridges before! The June flooding did a lot of damage up here too.
Lots to see at: