BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

September 25 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 loop to Snowbank

by Portage Monkey
Trip Report

Entry Date: May 26, 2007
Entry Point: Lake One
Exit Point: Snowbank Lake Only (28)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
I apologize in advance as I am not much of a writer. This trip was originally supposed to be 4 members but ended up just as my brother-in-law and myself. The goal was to fill in some gaps in areas we have explored between the Ensign and Kek areas to the north and the Gabbro to Isabella areas to the south. If a few fish happened to jump into our boat along the way, that would be ok too. Weather on this trip was upper 60's to low 70's, light rain and clouds half of the trip. Water levels seemed average with water temp around 50-55. Fishing was slow.

Day 1 of 5

Saturday, May 26, 2007 Got a late start leaving St. Cloud and did not arrive at Lake One until about 1pm. It did not take long to unload and get on the water, a little adrenalin and a lot of anticipation go a long way. The weather is a little cloudy but the water is calm and makes for great paddling as we loop around the north end of Lake One. As we get off the second portage from Lake One to Lake Two we hit with a downpour that takes us by surprise. It only lasts about 5 minutes but we a are soaked through...good time to take a break. After we dry out a bit we move on through Lake two and find ourselves paddling into a headwind and decide to make camp on Lake Three as campsites look to be filling up quick.


Day 2 of 5

Sunday, May 27, 2007 We get moving fairly early this morning and grab a couple of granola bars for the road. Both of us are glad we waited out the wind last night as we are now moving across Lake Three and Four with a Tailwind. The portages along this stretch are pretty easy and don't really pose a challenge which is probably why it is so popular. Spemd some time fishing below the rapids below Hudson Lake and pick up a few Northerns but don't keep as they are a bit small and today is a travelling day. The rapids are beautifula dn seems like a good spot to take a break for a while. We end up making camp early just before the portage to Insula on hudson lake and spend the rest of the day fishing and exploring Hudson. Beautiful evening.


Day 3 of 5

Monday, May 28, 2007 No rush again today. Taking kind of a relaxed pace on this trip compared to other, nice to slow it down a bit and do a little fishing and exploring as we go. First thing this morning we portage from Hudson into Insula and end up spending some time chatting with a couple in their 50's. I hope I am still making these trips for another 20 years. After the portage we set out across Insula as the wind picked up...luckily mostly from our backs. Insula is a big island studed beauty that we navigated quickly as we wanted to get the portage into Kianna over with today. That portage was just enough to finish us off for the day, not terrible but put together with the long windy paddle up Insula we were ready to make camp. Luckily Kianna is an awesome lake. One of my 2 favorites on this trip. Lovely cliffs, nice big White Pines (perfect for trying the new hammock), decent fishing...just what I look for.


Day 4 of 5

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 Slept in a bit this morning and boy did that feel good. Tent pad at this site was a thick bed of White Pine needles. Good thing there was a fire ban because if there wasn't I would have been tempted to have a fire last night and the bugs at this site were prety bad. Caught a 5-6lb pike this morning from shore that i filetted and will have for dinner. Todays travels took us through Thomas and Ima and into Jordan. Portaging all pretty easy. Calm waters on Thomas, saw a big eagle on island by portage. When we got to Ima we ended up paddling intoa headwind. Headwinds are especially problematic on this trip as I am much bigger than my bow paddler and so the bow tends to act like a sail, makes for tough going. Finally make it over to the northern most campsite on Jordan and are greeted by a sandy beach with a number of large tent pads. Went for a swim, water felt to be about 50 degrees so it was more like a dunk, had dinner and hung out in the tent reading and playing Yahtzee to hide from the thunderstorm that almost blew the tent over.


Day 5 of 5

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 Slept in once again, feels wierd, but oh so good. We set out this morning with the intention of making it to Disappointment lake and spending the night. As we head down through Adventure and spend some time searching for the monster Ahsub lake Smallies we decide that it is still so early we could make it out of Snowbank tonight and have a couple extra days at home to get some other things done. I would be just as happy spending the next day or two fishing but unfortunatly my bow man does not enjoy fishing as much as I do, so I don't press the issue and we head for Snowbank. We end up battling a headwind all down Disappointment and Parent but by the time we get done portaging to Snowbank the wind has died down. We have a nice paddle across Snowbank and I wait with the gear while my Bro hikes to get the car 4 miles away at the Lake One EP. Good trip overall, beautiful areas, but lots of people except for the Thomas and Kiana lakes area.


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