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      #14 Little Indian Sioux     
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millerb
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03/13/2018 09:18AM
I noticed that entry point little indian sioux is equidistant from Cook and Ely (1hr 10 min).
Recreation.gov auto-populates the permit pickup as Cook/LaCroix ranger station. I know you can pick any station/outfitter to get your permit. Is there any reason to use Cook instead of Ely? Is Cook fun in the way that Ely and Grand Marais are?
 
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MikeinMpls
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03/13/2018 09:47AM
I guess it depends on what one might consider "fun" about Ely or GM. To me, GM has rebranded itself from a declining logging town (when I was a kid) and turned into a microbrew/artisan craft-soup organic artsy community. That appeals to a lot of people. Ely is less so, but I consider it more fun. I like walking into Piragis, the surplus store, the coffee place, Dorothy's house, and relaxing a bit around Shagawa Lake. I've only been to Cook twice, and I don't think it's as big or dynamic as GM or Ely, but that fact may also appeal to a lot of people.

I've been to LIS several times. I remember LIS being a ways from Ely, but not 1:15 away. I may be wrong.

Mike
inspector13
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03/13/2018 10:45AM

Cook is not a "tourist town" but it has all the basics if you happen to need something.

schweady
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03/13/2018 12:05PM
MikeinMpls: "I've been to LIS several times. I remember LIS being a ways from Ely, but not 1:15 away. I may be wrong."
It's 34.25 miles from Britton's to the LIS lot and takes all of an hour in good conditions.

We used to outfit in Cook long ago and it's probably fine for the bare necessities, but we have gotten used to the ambiance provided by a stay in Ely the night before and lunch with a cold beer before heading home. If we are at one of the far western EPs, we look at the long drive up the Echo as part of the fun.
bhouse46
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03/13/2018 01:24PM
As stated, permits can be picked up in a number of places. As to the drive in, both are slow with the twists and turns that often get me wishing they were banked asphalt (the race car fantasy), but they are by far not that. I will come in or go out based on my desire to shop and enjoy a meal in Ely or just get in and out. If I go through Ely it will cost me money. Both can offer an nice scenic experience so take time and enjoy and keep the dust cloud down.
fairmatt
member (48)member
 
03/13/2018 06:34PM
We use Anderson Outfitters when using EP14 or taking a tow to LLC. Crane Lake doesn't have the shops or stores but it does have a place to eat on Crane Lake and Trails End on Echo Lake looks like it could be fun later in the evenings...it has great burgers I know that for a fact there's also a USFS campground there and on Lake Jeanette if you want to hole up there the night before entry. For new trippers I've driven the echo trail to Ely after we come out so they can experience Elys offerings some too. I'm working east on my EPs so can't speak to GM.....YET.
anthonyp007
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03/13/2018 09:45PM
One bonus to coming in from the west (through Cook) is that the road out of Orr is paved (until you get to the Echo Trail turn) and the Echo Trail is generally wider, straighter and less of a washboard on the far west end. At least that’s been my experience. The town of Cook doesn’t have too much to offer, liquor store, maybe a bait shop and a McDonalds. Orr has a couple of cool bar & grill joints that are pretty good pre/post trip stops. I’ve gone both ways, each had their merits.
03/17/2018 09:04PM
I have always entered by going through Ely but have occasionally exited through Cook. You might consider this as well. Kind of the best of both. ??
billconner
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03/18/2018 05:46AM
I did opposite. Went north by way of Cook and stayed at Jeannette Lake campground before entering; spent the night after trip in Ely before heading home. If I was not 10 hours away, I could see skipping Ely. Easier drive imho.
TuscaroraBorealis
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03/18/2018 06:46AM
I feel the Cook/Orr route is more convenient; especially the drive.

As mentioned there is Anderson Outfitters in Crane Lake; and Trails End (on Echo Lake)is on on par with any bar & grill that services the BWCAW area. If time allows??? You could take a neat little side trip to view Vermillion Falls & the chute.

In the final analysis, it offers the necessary amenities like Ely, it's just much more rustic/wild. But, if you need that last ' in town' fix before your trip, then I'd recommend Ely.
 
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