BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

September 25 2017

Entry Point 16 - Moose/Portage River (North of Echo Trail)

Moose/Portage 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 27 miles. Access is a 160-rod portage heading North from the Echo Trail.

Number of Permits per Day: 7
Elevation: 1348 feet
Latitude: 48.1230
Longitude: -92.0991
A favorite route offering many trip options and memorable things to see including;

World Class fishing for all four BWCA Species
Pictographs
Soaring granite hills and cliffs
Small lakes
Small rivers
Tumbling rapids and waterfalls
Wildlife, including Moose
Vistas from high points across the region if you're willing to climb. Rating Easy to Moderate. Day One. Get to EP16 off of the Echo Trail early. The initial portage is long, but well worn and smooth, sloping gently downgrade to the launch area. Load your canoe and head North. You'll be paddling with the slight current on this narrow winding river. The water is clear and make sure to tell the bowperson to watch for looming rocks!

Father and Son Trip

by CyFish
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 16, 2010
Entry Point: Moose/Portage River (north)
Exit Point: Moose/Portage River (north) (16)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
This is a trip from EP 16 up to LLC and then back to EP 16 with my dad. It had been 12 years since we have made this trip and thought we would try it again.

Report


Day One-6/16/10 Day one started off with My dad and I getting up early from the bunkhouse at Voyageur North Outfitters. We got up and had the truck loaded and were off to Britton's Cafe for a good old fashion breakfast. I decided that I wanted some blueberry pancakes and thought I needed some hashbrowns as a side. Needless to say I could hardly eat half of what I got. Very good breakfast before heading out to the BWCA. We were at EP 16 around 0800 hours and were on the water after the 115 rod portage by 0840 hours. The trip down the Nina Moose river was very nice and the scenery all started to come back to me from the last time I was on this trip 12 years ago with my dad. The river was the same curvy river as I had remembered. As we were getting close to one of the portages we saw a bald eagle on a deadfall along the river eating a fish. It was quite the site to see. We then entered Nina Moose Lake and started to head for Lake Agnes. On our way to Lake Agnes on one of the portages I saw a canoe with the BWCA.com sticker on the front. As we were getting ready to take off we ran into the owner of the canoe. I got talking and found out that I was talking with Koda. We talked for a bit and wished each other a good trip. Amazing how we ran into someone that was also on the website. We made it to Lake Agnes around 1230 hours and noticed that a lot of the campsites were taken already. To my surprise I don't remember last time that there was that many people in the BWCA. We found a empty campsite on the west side and had a quick lunch. We were back in the canoe and heading up to Boulder bay to find a campsite for the night and maybe get some fishing in. We made it to Boulder bay with little trouble and ran into some other people that had been fishing the area for the day and were heading back to Lake Agnes. We talked shortly about were they were fishing and wished each other luck. We soon found out that all the campsites in Boulder Bay were taken. Since our goal for the next day was to head to Iron Lake we kept on going north. All the sites on Tiger bay were taken and we finally found one on an island facing Canada. The site was nice and open and offered plenty of space for my dad and I. By this time we were tired and ready to take a break. We got camp set up and then relaxed. We then heard some people talking and saw a canoe come around the corner. We spoke with the two guys who said they were staying on the other side of the island. We told them that we were going to Iron Lake in the morning and they said that they just came from there and all the sites were full. They also said that storms were going to be coming the next day with high winds to follow that. My dad and I thought about our next plan of attack and figured that we didn't want to risk getting to Iron Lake and the sites being full and the wind picking up and trying to paddle in it with the possibility of storms. So we came to the conclusion we would just stay at our site for the next couple of nights. With that in mind we hit the sack early and called it a successful day one.

Day 2 6/17/10  We woke up to a wonderful morning on LLC. We decided that we would eat breakfast and then go out and do some fishing. After breakfast we tried some bays in the area with top water and didn't have any luck and the wind was picking up a little. We then decided to paddle over to Boulder Bay which was about a 45 minute paddle and fish there. Once there drifted along the north cliffs and had some luck. We caught a couple of small walleyes and pike. We then noticed that the wind was starting to pick a little more so we decided to paddle back to camp.  Once at camp we ate a late lunch and took a nap after a rough morning of fishing! :) When I woke up from my nap and looked out the tent I noticed the sky was really dark to the west and north of us. I told my dad that we could be in for a interesting night. The rain held off long enough for us to make supper and get cleaned up. Just as we finished cleaning up the lighting and thunder show started and the rain came shortly after that.  We decided then that we would just head in the tent and read our books for the night. It rained pretty hard and the lighting and thunder was intense at times. We fell asleep to the rain and thunder hoping that none of the tall pines would fall on us during the night.

Day 3 6/18/10  After a rainy and loud night we woke up to the northwest winds coming across LLC. There were white caps on the lake early in the morning already. At that point my dad and I figured that it would be a day in camp if the winds continued. As the morning went on we found out that we were on a tow route to the Bottle portage from an outfitter north of us. There were about three trips to the portage in the morning and then two or so in the afternoon. The boats used for the tows gave us some entertainment while we sat on the rocks and read out books. I was reading The Long Walk about some individuals that walked away from a Siberian Labor camp to India in the 1930s. It was a good book and recommend it to anybody. The waves on the lake would at times engulf the boat as it sped away with canoes from Bottle Portage. I don't remember LLC being a motorized lake last time I was there but then I probably didn't pay that much attention to it.  In the afternoon my dad and I took a little walk along the shore of the island. When we were standing on a rock cliff we found that the wind was strong enough to make us step back with some of the gusts. When we made it to camp I decided that after the rain I would get some wood split for a fire. I also found a fallen down Birch tree with the inside rotted out. I was able to pull big pieces of the bark off and pour the insides out. I then took the bark and set it out on the rocks to dry out. After it dried out I figured I would put the split wood inside the bark to keep it dry if it decided to rain again.  As the day went on we would hear the occasional tree cracking from the wind. We then heard the loud crash of the tall pine tree giving into the wind and it came crashing down just outside of our camp. Not the best feeling when you know you have to sleep in a tent among those trees. My dad I then sat and thought about our next step. Do we stay the next night at this camp or in the morning do we head back to Lake Agnes for two nights? We decided that we would head back to Lake Agnes for two nights. As the sunset the wind still continued to blow and we laid in the tent and fell asleep to wind howling through the trees.

Day 4 6/19/10   When we woke up the wind had died down over night and would make for a nice paddle back to Lake Agnes. It seemed that the day would be gloomy but not raining which is fine with me as long as I stay dry. Our trip to Lake Agnes was short and uneventful. We wanted to get the campsite on the Northeast corner of Lake Agnes by the portage since we had stayed there last time and enjoyed the site. As we were heading for that site we got beat out by two other canoes to that site. We then saw a group packing up their canoes on the next campsite to the west. The group said that it was a nice site but some trees had blown down during the storm.   We then got settled in to our new home for two nights. Once settled in we decided to try and get some fish for supper. The first pass over the point I caught a nice walleye. Man we thought the fishing was going to be hot and heavy. Well turned out that the only other thing we caught was a nice size crappie. For the two of us though that was enough fish to go along with other food we had for our fish dinner.    After finishing up fishing for the afternoon we cooked up the fish for supper and enjoyed it on the rocks over looking Lake Agnes. What a nice lake to camp on.

Day 5 6/20/10   What a wonderful Fathers Day. Waking up to a peaceful and beautiful place with the one person that introduced me to the woods. I can't thank my dad enough for all the good times that we have had out in the woods either it be in the BWCA or hunting. I just can't wait to pass this type of thing on to my two sons when they get older. God must of been watching over us this day because it was absolutely wonderful sunny day in the BWCA. We fished top water around the bays on the north end of Lake Agnes only catching one pike that we ate for breakfast. Fish is good anytime in the BWCA!!! We also tried some fishing in the afternoon with only one more nice crappie. After that we treated yourself to a relaxing rest of the day for Fathers Day. We just lounged around camp reading our books and talking about other trips to the BWCA. We also talked about how my Grandpa that has pasted away would of loved a trip with us and how he would of loved cooking for us. I know what he was looking down on us during the trip smiling as we spend this quality time with each other.   As the sunset on Lake Agnes for our last night it was a nice one. Lake Agnes was like a sheet of glass with the sunset reflecting off of it. We also watched May flies come to the surface and fly away. The May flies coming to the surface made the only ripples on the lake. It was a awesome way to end our trip on our last night.

Day 6 6/21/10   We woke up early in the morning and had a quick breakfast and tore down camp and were on the water heading south on Lake Agnes at 0600 hours. The water on Lake Agnes was still like a sheet of glass which made for an easy paddle to the river connecting to Nina Moose Lake. As we got to Nina Moose lake we met our first canoers going towards Lake Agnes. Then it was upstream in the curving Nina Moose River back to EP 16. We met a couple more groups on our way out. We got to our last portage and made it back to the car. What a good feeling to be back but yet a sad time when I know I have to leave behind the BWCA. We were all packed in the car and back to Voyageur North Outfitters by 1130 hours. We grabbed a shower and a nice ice cold beer and talked to John about our trip.   After our beer we figured we better get going so we can get on the road for our eight hour trip home. This was a awesome trip with my dad and I will remember it for as long as I live. I hope we can get some more trips in the future. Again it was sad leaving such a beautiful place but boy was it nice to see my wife and two boys.

Lastly Thank you Dad for a wonderful time!!! I enjoyed it a lot and couldn't think of anybody else that I would want to go to the BWCA with. Love you and the BWCA!   Nina Moose Lake, Agnes, Lake, Lac La Croix

 

Lakes Traveled:   Nina Moose Lake, Agnes, Lake, Lac La Croix,

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