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      Winter Trip - EP 84 (Snake River) or EP 33 (L. Gabbro)?     
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scottschaeffer
member (6)member
 
01/12/2018 10:57AM
I need advice / help / guidance, please!
I'm wanting to do a 1 or 2-day trip into Bald Eagle Lake here in a few weeks. Originally, I was planning to go into Entry Point 33 (Little Gabbro) via Spruce Road. However, the Lake County Hwy Dept informed me that Spruce Rd is only plowed up to Entry Point 32 (Kawishiwi River / Filson Creek). So, I don't know if Spruce Rd will be drive-able to EP 33 with a 4x4 pickup or if I could find someone to plow a path for me (without it costing an arm and a leg).
Another option that I'm considering is Entry Point 84 (Snake River). This EP is MUCH closer to Bald Eagle, but there are two big unknowns for me:
1) Is the road to EP 84 plowed / accessible?
2) Is the Snake River safe to walk on during the winter? I know that it has been extremely cold there for quite a while lately (-30 temps sustained for weeks and only recently came up a little).
Anyone who can provide some experienced knowledge here would be extremely appreciated. I leave in a few weeks. Thanks in advance!!
 
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ILcdr
distinguished member (148)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/12/2018 05:55PM
L. Gab was discussed a couple of weeks ago on the winter forum. You might want to check it out.
LindenTree3
distinguished member(2206)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/12/2018 09:49PM
I lived in Isabella for three years along time ago.
The road (Tomahawk) sp, I believe is plowed year round.
I wouldn't trust that river to walk on. You will not drown but there us a good chance you will get wet IMHO
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(4204)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/13/2018 09:02AM
While the Tomahawk road may be plowed, i dont believe the spur road leading to the Snake River EP would be.
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1577)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/22/2018 02:50PM
ILcdr: "L. Gab was discussed a couple of weeks ago on the winter forum. You might want to check it out."

Here is that discussion:
Little Gabbro Access
Pinetree
distinguished member(12303)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/22/2018 10:13PM
I posted this at your other site asking the same question:
From the Kawishiwi entry point I have parked numerous times(like 10 years ago I use to go there quite often,so info is old, but I bet still relevant) and skiied on usually a packed trail from snowmobiles or dog sleds up to the Little Gabbro entry point. Usually it is used by various groups so portage should be well packed?
Read my comments on how to get to Gabbro via swamp and Bald Eagle by going around the rapids from Bald Eagle-that could be very dangerous by going along rapids. Link provided previous post.
I have day skiied from The Kawishiwi parking lot to Bald Eagle- Pietro and back in March before.


I think the Snake entry point would be one heck of a challenge and probably thin ice on the Snake. My opinion,I wouldn't go that way. Also you have miles of unplowed roads getting there unless there logging.


I am sure like Wintergreen or one of the others runs Dog sleds that way to Little Gabbro.


If you have Questions just ask and I am sure their must be others who used the trail recently.


CrookedPaddler1
distinguished member(1382)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/23/2018 08:54AM
The tomahawk is only plowed for access to logging sales, so it might be plowed all the way or only a short distance. As for a snake river entry, if you chose that route, go straight after the bridge where you go into the snake river. There is an old trail that will take you all the way to where the last portage on the snake river empties into bald eagle. I used to use it years ago for access during duck season.

If it were me and I really wanted to get into Bald Eagle, I would park my car at the north kawishiwi parking lot, and follow the snowmobile trail down the spruce road to the gabbro entry.
scottschaeffer
member (6)member
 
01/26/2018 09:59AM
Isn't it another mile hike from Kawishiwi EP 32 to Gabbro EP 33?
Also, do you know if that old trail after the Snake River bridge is still there? And as cold as it's been, do you think that there's enough ice on the Snake? Thanks.
Pinetree
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01/26/2018 10:07AM
scottschaeffer: "Isn't it another mile hike from Kawishiwi EP 32 to Gabbro EP 33?
Also, do you know if that old trail after the Snake River bridge is still there? And as cold as it's been, do you think that there's enough ice on the Snake? Thanks."


Yes it would be about a mile but it should be hard packed snow from Dog sleds and snowmobiles.
I question even if you can get within like 5 miles of the Snake River entry point parking lot in the winter,unless loggers are keeping the road open. Also being a river I canoed many times, I would think with snow over top of thin ice on the river you don't know your asking for trouble.
If you go the Gabbro route go thru the swamp from Little Gabbro. Outward Bound people in the past did a lot of camping in the Little Gabbro area.
scottschaeffer
member (6)member
 
01/26/2018 10:33AM
OK, yeah that makes sense about the snow cover on the Snake River. I'm hoping that most if not all of the snow has been blown off of the lakes, but you're right - I imagine Snake is completely snow-covered.
So, my plan is to take my usual entry at 33. I'm not sure what you mean about "thru the swamp from Little Gabbro". Is there a shortcut that will cut time from the standard water route?
I'm planning to hike the route that I'd normally have to paddle:
-through the length of Little Gabbro past the "narrows" into Big Gabbro
-through the length of Big Gabbro to the south end where the rapids come in from Bald Eagle
-past those rapids and into Bald Eagle
I hope that makes sense. I know that route very well, but the only reason that I was considering the Snake entry was because it's much closer to Bald Eagle. Sounds like that would not be very safe though.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12303)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/26/2018 06:14PM
Going across the meadow or swamp southeast of Little Gabbro to get to Gabbro is used by dogsleds and other winter people for the main reason is to avoid the rapids- current area which sometimes extends quite away out from the actual rapids.
From Gabbro I used the bay north of the Gabbro-Bald Eagle narrows and went overland for a short distance which bypassed the rapids.

Refer to post above also on Gabbro.
Also in Ely Winterfest is coming up.
They do fish for crappies in Gabbro and Northern pike.
CrookedPaddler1
distinguished member(1382)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/29/2018 03:51PM
scottschaeffer: "Isn't it another mile hike from Kawishiwi EP 32 to Gabbro EP 33?
Also, do you know if that old trail after the Snake River bridge is still there? And as cold as it's been, do you think that there's enough ice on the Snake? Thanks."


I haven't been on a trail in a few years, but yes the old trail after the snake river bridge was still navigitable about 7 or 8 years ago.
CrookedPaddler1
distinguished member(1382)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/29/2018 03:53PM
Pinetree: "scottschaeffer: "Isn't it another mile hike from Kawishiwi EP 32 to Gabbro EP 33?
Also, do you know if that old trail after the Snake River bridge is still there? And as cold as it's been, do you think that there's enough ice on the Snake? Thanks."



Yes it would be about a mile but it should be hard packed snow from Dog sleds and snowmobiles.
I question even if you can get within like 5 miles of the Snake River entry point parking lot in the winter,unless loggers are keeping the road open. Also being a river I canoed many times, I would think with snow over top of thin ice on the river you don't know your asking for trouble.
If you go the Gabbro route go thru the swamp from Little Gabbro. Outward Bound people in the past did a lot of camping in the Little Gabbro area."


The re-routed so the snowmobile trails goes down the spruce road a few years ago. The dog sled trail now goes on the old snowmobile trail. However you could mark at North Kawishiwi and ski the 2 or 3 miles to the turn off for the Gabro Entry. It would be about a mile from there to the start of the portage.
 
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