BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

March 25 2017

Entry Point 14 - Little Indian Sioux River North

Little Indian Sioux River (north) entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by La Croix Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 32 miles. Access is a 40-rod portage heading North from the Echo Trail.

Number of Permits per Day: 6
Elevation: 1364 feet
Latitude: 48.1466
Longitude: -92.2103

LIS North to Loon and LLC

by cyclones30
Trip Report

Entry Date: August 07, 2016
Entry Point: Little Indian Sioux River (north)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 3

Trip Introduction:
My wife and I were hoping to take a "more relaxing" trip with friends and family to the BW this year so we picked EP 14 since we'd never been there and heard good things about it. After a few people backed out, it was just the two of us plus a family member. Combined previous trips to the BW - 8. After moving to a new house, our empty finished basement became the gear organizing area for a couple weeks before the trip. This would be our first trip taking our own food, so the only thing we got from the outfitter (VNO) was a kevlar Wenonah Seneca for the 3 of us.

Day 1 of 7


Sunday, August 07, 2016 We stayed at the VNO bunkhouse and had everything packed the night before. We were on the road by 5:30 and on the water by 7 and were the first ones out that morning from the EP which felt great. I was in the rear of the canoe for 97% of the trip and beside a couple detours into the vegetation at the beginning it was just like old times and we moved rather quickly with the 3 of us paddling and single portaging. We were to the Devils Cascade portage by 8:30 and after stopping at the top to take in the sights we moved along downstream toward Loon. One beaver dam to pull over and we were on Loon with a moderate west wind which whipped up some medium whitecaps but nothing serious until we hit the wakes of a couple boats before the Beatty portage.   

We then headed across LLC to see the picto's which were faint but still very cool. What wasn't cool were a couple canoes parked at that very high cliff with someone, who after a lot of convincing, jumped off while we were looking at the picto's and came up gasping for air. His friends paddled/swam over quickly and seemed to have things under control so we got out of there before more stupidity ensued. We saw a couple more boats and made it into Snow Bay by 1pm. Tired from the trek, we setup camp and relaxed the rest of the day.

 



Day 2 of 7


Monday, August 08, 2016 We woke up to a very calm morning and wonderful day. We spent the next 3 days at this site and fished from shore (with little success) and fished from the canoe with moderate success. 

 



Day 3 of 7


Tuesday, August 09, 2016 Today, according to the weather radio, was supposed to be the best chance for rain. We re-adjusted the tarp and fished a lot. Beside a sprinkle around 8 am the day was dry and very pleasant. 

We hiked around our island in the sprinkles and found a few leftover ripe blueberries. We also found this little perch someone made in an old tree hanging over the water. We named our island treehouse island after this. 

 



Day 4 of 7


Wednesday, August 10, 2016 Today was another great day, the occasional boat in Canadian waters could be heard but not intrusive I'd say. We barely saw anyone in Snow Bay all 4 days, but we did see a couple people move in this day. We packed our poles and a lunch and went NE from Snow Bay around the large point and explored a couple seldom used sites that I'd rate 1 or 2's. We took the unmarked portage back to Snow Bay, after almost an hour of poking and prodding around until we found the right landing. We had a group chat about our plans for the way out. We could pack up and move tomorrow (Thursday) and stay on Loon or Pauness for 2 days and have a shorter trip back to the EP on Saturday morning. Or we could stay here another day and move to those lakes on Friday, stay there one night and head out on Sat. We were going to let the weather radio decide for us, until it said 50% chance of showers and storms Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, and Friday night. Great....thanks weather radio. We chose to pack up and move Thursday so if the weather was bad we'd still have Friday to try.

 



Day 5 of 7


Thursday, August 11, 2016 We were on the water by 6:30 and headed to Loon through the smaller lakes even though it wasn't supposed to be windy. We wanted different scenery. North lake, section 3 pond (which I feel deserves lake status), Slim, and into Loon. Very quiet and peaceful morning and we never saw a soul until we were in Little Loon. Beside some beaver dams and mud the trip wasn't too bad. Once on Little Loon, we were looking at our maps picking out which sites to check if we wanted to camp for 2 nights. We passed 3 kayaks (one with portage wheels) headed north toward the Slim portage. They had stayed at a site and left some gear but were planning on seeing Lac La Croix, coming back, and grabbing their gear and moving downstream for the night. It was now 11 and we were efficient on our way from LLC. I have no idea how they planned to portage those monsters and take 3 hours there, 3 hours back, and have time to pick up gear and head somewhere else for the night.

We checked a beach site, it was taken. We checked the next beach 4/5 star and a note with today's date on it said closed for maintenance. Damn. Spirits sinking a little bit. We checked the 4 star near the southern mouth and it was taken. Big darn. We decided to check the site on the west shore opposite that site and the island. I'd give it a 3 to 4 stars after staying there 2 nights. Enough room for 2-3 tents, very few trees so it would be bad for hangers. Decent fishing right in that area. 

 



Day 6 of 7


Friday, August 12, 2016

We got up early and caught some nice fish including a 20" smallie out from camp and a couple eater walleyes. Smallie went back after a picture and the walleyes were brunch. We also saw an otter slowly swimming along the shoreline we were fishing which was very cool to see and hear. 

The boat traffic around this site and the lake in general was a bit unfortunate. I know it's allowed, but to see 3 boats fishing out in front of camp isn't exactly our idea of the BW. Neither is fishing at 7am to a peaceful lake only to hear and then see a boat come ripping down pulling a wakeboarder, circle, and then go back where they came from. We won't stay on this lake again.

Storms popped up just at dusk so we'd packed most our stuff already and fell asleep to rain. 

 



Day 7 of 7


Saturday, August 13, 2016 Woke up around 5am and were on the water by 6. Back over the beaver dam, back past Devil's Cascade and we were greeted by an Osprey at the start of the 40 rod portage between the Pauness lakes. A nice paddle up the LIS river and we were back to the truck by 10am. There were a lot of people putting in about then and it's a rough landing. We were used to being efficient so we got out of the way in a hurry and returned the canoe to VNO and took our showers. Great trip and can't wait to get back again.

 


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