BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

September 24 2017

Entry Point 30 - Lake One

Lake One entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 21 miles. Access is a canoe landing at Lake One.

Number of Permits per Day: 18
Elevation: 1230 feet
Latitude: 47.9391
Longitude: -91.4792
My son Remy and I, and my friend Keith and his son Charlie put our canoes into Lake one at 9:30 Monday morning after dropping off a car at the Snowbank Lake landing. Lake One can be tricky to navigate. On our way to Lake Two we turned East too early and ended up paddling about a mile out of our way into a dead-end bay before we realized our mistake. We blamed the fact that Lake One was split between Fisher Maps #10 and #4 for our error. If the entire lake had been visible at once on a single map, we would not have made the wrong turn. Once we got back on course we portaged the 30 rods into a pond and then portaged the 40 rods into Lake Two. The weather was nice, and there was a bit of a tail wind out of the West. We stopped for lunch on the shore of Lake Two. After lunch we canoed through the North end of Lake Three and into Lake Four. We stopped for the night at a campsite on the West shore of Lake Four, just North of the channel heading toward Hudson Lake. We had to battle swarms of mosquitoes as we set up the tents. We then had a nice refreshing swim. Because we had brought steaks along for the first night, we didn't go fishing.

On Tuesday morning we had a bacon and eggs breakfast then packed up camp and headed out in our canoes. As we canoed past our campsite, we realized that Remy & I had left our hammocks pitched between trees. We landed again and quickly packed them up. Once again we had beautiful weather. We paddled East and completed 3 short portages before entering Hudson Lake. The 105 rod portage into Lake Insula was exhausting! Lake Insula is a large gorgeous lake broken up by multiple islands and penninsulas. We had lunch at a campsite on a large island just East of Hudson Lake. It felt like we had a tail wind as we were heading East, and then as we turned North it seemed like the wind shifted and was at our backs once again. We navigated Lake Insula flawlessly and camped for the night on the island just West of Williamson Island. After setting up the tents and a refreshing swim, Remy & I got back into the canoe and tried to catch some fish. We had no luck! At 9PM that night, just as we were going to bed, a thunderstorm rolled through. That night I was awakened several times by the loud croaking of bullfrogs from the shallows around our island. What noisy neighbors!

By Wednesday morning the weather had cleared, but the wind was now coming from the Northwest, pretty much in our faces. We paddled to the North end of Lake Insula and tackled the largest portage of our trip. The 180 rod walk to Kiana Lake actually seemed easier than the 105 rod carry into Lake Insula. We headed onward into Thomas Lake where we really started feeling the headwind. We finally made it to the campsite just Northeast of the portage into Thomas Pond in time for lunch. After lunch we proceeded across Thomas Pond and into Thomas Creek after hiking across the famous Kekekabic Trail. We managed to easily run the rapids in Thomas Creek and avoid the 2 short portages. We camped for the night on Hatchet Lake at the northern campsite. It was cool and windy, so we didn't swim. There was lots of threatening weather going by to the North of us, but we stayed dry. After supper we canoed back to Thomas Creek to fish and look for moose. No luck on either count, but we did see a beaver swimmming.

The weather was nice again Thursday morning, but the wind was out of the West which was the direction we were heading. We portaged into Ima Lake and canoed across it. Before portaging into Jordan Lake, we watched a bald eagle sitting in a tree get harrassed repeatedly by a seagull. The narrow channel leading into Jordan Lake is quite beautiful. It is narrow like a river with big rock outcroppings. We paddled across Jordan, Cattyman, Adventure, and Jitterbug Lakes. We found the Eastern campsite on Ahsub Lake taken, so we camped at the Western campsite which had a great place for swimming in front of it. There was a very brave loon in front of the campsite who didn't seem to mind if we got close to it. We tried our luck at fishing, but only caught 1 smallmouth which was too small to eat. Between 5:00 and 7:30 that evening we saw a number of canoes heading across Ahsub Lake from Disappointment Lake to Jitterbug Lake. We weren't sure where they were planning to camp, but it was getting late.

On Friday we awoke again to good weather. We paddled the length of Disappointment Lake and portaged into to Parent Lake and then on to Snowbank Lake. It was July 4th, and as we entered Snowbank Lake the sounfd of firecrackers reminded us we weren't in the wilderness anaymore. After a brief splash war on our way across Snowbank, we made it to the landing and our car was still there. What a great trip!

Lake One to Hudson Island

by jquast34
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 05, 2013
Entry Point: Lake One
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 9

Trip Introduction:
We had a group of 9 heading up from the Twin Cities and Saint Cloud. Some of us had been to the BWCA before, a couple of us were first timers. We stayed in a cabin at Kawishiwi Lodge which was perfect. All we had to do in the morning was wake up and walk 20 ft to the Lake One shore and begin our expedition.

Day 1 of 4

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 We got a somewhat early start. We had a few more beers than anitcipated the night before so it was a slow start. We were paddling by 9am. The portages were all pretty easy. We went from Lake 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 pretty smoothly. On Lake 4 one of our canoes tipped. The bow man was reaching for something behind him. Early June isn't the ideal time to take a swim since there was still ice on the lake a couple weeks before. They both played "tough" but we all knew they were cold. We paddled and portaged to Hudson and decided to camp on the Island. Our original intention was to try to make it to Insula, but I didn't want to risk them getting sick or worse. If it was a nice sunny day things would have been different but it was windy and rainy so we stopped to dry out. I didn't hear any complaints about not making it to Insula so I think everyone was tired of paddling after 7 hours, myself included. Set up camp, fished a bit and drank ourselves to sleep.


Day 2 of 4

Thursday, June 06, 2013 Fished all day. We caught plenty of Walleye and Northern and I beleive a couple smallies as well. We spent some time just hanging out on the Island too. The island on Hudson is a pretty nice site. Not the best canoe landing, but we had enough room for 9 dudes, granted we had three tents bunched together and a couple of us in hammocks. I think it was cool to have the lake all to ourselves so we didnt bother anyone when we were howling at the moon into the night. It also had a perfect rock for cleaning fish and a nice sunset view. It is in the burn area though, so not much greenery. That night we saw the most amazing northern lights dancing in the sky. It was surreal.


Day 3 of 4

Friday, June 07, 2013 More fishing and revelry. We portaged into Insula where I caught my first northern. We left our camp set up on the Island. Nobody wanted to pack up all those tents, chairs and other stuff just to set it up somewhere else again. Too much hassle, especially for a large group. I had to use the bathroom so we stopped on a small island on Insula so I could relieve myself. There was a mama loon on the island sitting on her nest. She made this loud noise that almost gave me a heart attack. Snapped a couple photos and left. We didnt go very far in Insula before we decided to head back to camp, hunger was setting in. We had a bountiful fish fry. We had caught enough fish to feed 9 grown men until we were full. Oil and shore lunch is all we used... delicious! As we were getting ready to head out for more fishing, someone said " Look at the Eagle!" We all looked and saw the Nation's bird gliding across the top of the water. Then, almost as if he was putting on a show for us, perfectly in front of our campsite view, he snagged a nice size northern right out of the water and flew away with it. Nature at its finest. I couldn't believe it, it was AWESOME. All I could say was, "That eagle has caught just as many fish as I have!"   


Day 4 of 4

Saturday, June 08, 2013 We decided to start our journey home a day early. I wanted to stay, but in hindsight I am SO glad we didn't. It was a gorgeous day, we all had our shirts off and soaked in the sun. This is ill-advised, but we braved the rapids on the portage from Hudson to Lake 4 in leiu of carrying everything. It was an intense and bumpy ride, but we made it. We took a little water in, but we didnt tip. I realize that it could have gone a lot worse, but no risk, no reward. Once our friends saw that it was possible, they also opted for the same challange. Same result. I think my bow man became over confident because he wanted to do the same thing on the next portage but the rapids were much more dangerous looking than before. He bravely decided to go it alone. We watched him disappear behind a large rock going like 20mph. We ran to the other end of the portage and waited for the result. Finally we saw the canoe pop out from a waterfall. The canoe was empty. Shortly after I saw my partner clinging to the canoe from behind. I laughed so hard I cried. He was alright. We stopped for another fish fry on Lake 3 and made it back to entry 30 just before dusk. It was such a fun day. We drove down to Virginia, MN, went to the Sawmill Saloon and stayed in a hotel. The next day it was pouring rain. That is why I was so glad we decided to head back early. If we would have had to make the trip back in the rain it would have sucked. Round 2 coming soon...   


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