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hawleycanoeguy
member (45)member
 
09/09/2017 03:43PM
Hey All,

Sorry to keep bothering with questions, but with the maps I have seen and from what I've already searched on here, I can't seem to find answers (I'll blame it on my Norwegian bloodline). I'm planning on doing a loop through MUDRO-SANDPIT-TCM-HORSE-HORSE RIVER-BASSWOOD RIVER-BASSWOOD LAKE-JACKFISH BAY-RANGE RIVER-SANDPIT-MUDRO. We will be paddling from LBF to Wheelbarrow to Upper Basswood Falls.

1. LOWER BASSWOOD FALLS -- I have been here before and used the portage on the Canadian side. Is there a portage on the American side? I see there are two campsites that appear to be above the falls on the American side. Are these in fact above or below the falls? How do you get to them? I'd like to camp at one of these sites and be prepared to maneuver in this area safely.

2. WHEELBARROW FALLS -- These look pretty straight forward. I see there's a portage on the American side. Is there a portage on the Canadian side? My plan is to use the American portage, but I'd like to explore these falls and know where I should/shouldn't go.

3. UPPER BASSWOOD FALLS -- I've read about the "horse portage" and have heard that despite its length, it's not too terrible. Are there shorter portages that are in chunks vs. the 340 rodder? Are there portages in this area to check out the rapids to the north? Again....I'm fully prepared to just do the Horse Portage if that's what's recommended, but I'd like to check things out in this area and if possible, take a series of shorter portages to be able to do so.

Ever since I was 8 years old, scouring my dad's big Fisher Map book of the BWCA/Quetico, seeing the "dangerous waters" symbols on this river, I've been so curious to visit this area extensively -- I appreciate any help out there to be best to navigate this river reach while doing some common-sense thrill seeking!
 
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bwcadan
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09/09/2017 09:50PM
Not knowing your canoeing skills, it is impossible to safely guide you on the 340 rod portage. Therefore, I would portage the whole thing. Having said that, I witnessed a twosome from Florida kayak down the start of that portage. They indicated that a 5 or 6 level stream was no problem. We set out away from that start point before they descended as Neither me or my daughter could be of any use to them even if they ran into trouble. No news later about a mishap.

If you have skills to match the water hazards you should do what the pair above did: thoroughly investigate your waters to canoe.

Even if you choose to do the entire portage, there are a number of places for you to stop and explore. Nice photo ops and lunch along the way. If you double portage, you could take most of the day if you wish and you could linger at any of several areas. If you fish, add even more time. I have no fishing advice, however.

I like the fact you seem to have a good feel that exploration is in the cards for you. Enjoy
mgraber
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09/10/2017 04:00PM
Take the entire Horse portage, it isn't worth the risk and its the easiest way through. The Canadian portage at wheelbarrow is the safest in high water but is a muddy mess and is a longer paddle around. In normal to low water take the US portage.
cyclones30
distinguished member(1135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/10/2017 09:36PM
quote mgraber: "Take the entire Horse portage, it isn't worth the risk and its the easiest way through. The Canadian portage at wheelbarrow is the safest in high water but is a muddy mess and is a longer paddle around. In normal to low water take the US portage."


x2
carmike
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09/10/2017 09:41PM
Horse Portage is one of the easiest long portage in the BWCA. I'd recommend not fiddling around with the shorter portages, which means you'll have to be running rapids and you won't save any time, anyways.
carmike
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09/10/2017 09:41PM
Horse Portage is one of the easiest long portage in the BWCA. I'd recommend not fiddling around with the shorter portages, which means you'll have to be running rapids and you won't save any time, anyways.
 
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