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      Lodging out of EP 38 Sawbill lake     
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DontPanic
member (50)member
 
11/06/2018 07:40PM
Hi all,
I’m looking at doing a trip on the Phoebe river from EP38 and I’m trying to figure out the logistics. We would be exiting EP37 and want to drop our car there and possibly get a bunkhouse or hotel the night before we put in.
 
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Jaywalker
distinguished member(1612)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/06/2018 07:51PM
Sawbill doesn't have a bunkhouse as I recall, but there is a really nice campground right there if your game for setting up your tent. There's also a campground at Kiwishiwii and one on the sawbill trail half way to Sawbill. Otherwise I think you might be in a hotel in Tofte. I think the closest thing to a bunkhouse is the Happy Hippy in Grand Marais.
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/06/2018 07:55PM
Bring a tent, the closest lodging is down on the shore along Hwy. 61.
TipsyPaddler
senior member (77)senior membersenior member
 
11/06/2018 09:09PM
I have gone out of EP38 and EP37 several times.

I stayed at the AmericInn in Tofte once a couple years ago. I would rather sleep in a tent or my hammock at a campground after experiencing their crappy beds. The lobby reeked of chlorine and 'heaven knows what' from the cloudy pool as well. The Bluefin Bay Inn is expensive but very nice if budget is not a concern. Their single night rooms are limited and need to be booked early in peak season. I do like their restaurant! A lot of the cabins/resorts around Tofte have a 2+ night minimum.

The campground at Sawbill is very nice. They have the cleanest "outhouses" I have ever used and having the outfitter's store, potable water and showers within a short walk is a nice convenience.

I recommend camping at EP38 and leaving your car at the Sawbill Outfitters lot, having Sawbill Outfitters drive you to EP 37, and doing an eastward route to end back at EP38 and your car. But I am sure they would help you with transportation in the other direction if you have your heart set on a westward route down the Lady Chain lakes/Phoebe River. All my experiences with Sawbill Outfitters have been excellent.
11/06/2018 10:47PM
I agree with the others. I'd camp the night before at Sawbill Campground and shuttle my car the next morning to Kawishwi. For the night before, I pack an entire separate outfit - tent, sleeping pads and bags, stove and cooking gear, etc. Then dump it all in the car in the morning. Then all your tripping stuff is ready to go at the put in when it's time to go.
11/06/2018 10:47PM
I agree with the others. I'd camp the night before at Sawbill Campground and shuttle my car the next morning to Kawishwi. For the night before, I pack an entire separate outfit - tent, sleeping pads and bags, stove and cooking gear, etc. Then dump it all in the car in the morning. Then all your tripping stuff is ready to go at the put in when it's time to go.
cyclones30
distinguished member(1390)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/06/2018 10:53PM
Don't count on getting one of 5 first come first served spots at Kawishiwi landing. We started and ended trip there this June, all full and looked like the campers there were planning to stay a loooonnnggg time.

Reserve tent spot at Sawbill and let them help you with travel logistics
11/07/2018 06:50AM
There's no bunkhouse or motel close to #37/#38. I have stayed in Grand Marais and just done the long drive to #37 in the morning. I have also stayed at Sawbill campground and it is nice. Kawishiwi would be nice too, but there are only 5 sites. We dropped a car at Sawbill the day before and entered at Kawishiwi.
mjmkjun
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11/07/2018 07:36AM
Some good advice is given regarding a night at Sawbill Campground. Spend the difference cost of a hotel room to pay for the shuttle to or from Sawbill (#38) to Kawishiwi (#37). Also, hot showers available at Sawbill for a small fee. ($6 with a towel) You can visit Sawbill Outfitters online site for current shuttle rates.
Be aware of the possibility of partiers and/or loud campers at Kawishiwi. Not so at Sawbill.
bruleman
distinguished member (137)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/07/2018 12:21PM
Just a little bit of history. Sawbill Outfitters was a lodge with cabins to rent. My dad and I stayed there a couple of nights, back around 1960. I remember walking into the lodge the next morning and there was a large walleye hanging on the railing as you enter. The owner told me it was caught in the creek that runs through the property. I have found the current owners of the outfitters are very accommodating.
11/07/2018 03:34PM
Plenty of parking at Sawbill. They'll shuttle you to #37 for $80.

I've stayed at the campground there on 3 different occasions (once for 3 nights doing day paddles in) and it's been a good experience each time.

I stayed at the AmericInn in Tofte once and it wasn't too bad. It did have a noticeable chlorine smell in the lobby though.
bruleman
distinguished member (137)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/07/2018 03:50PM
There are accommodations at Devils Track Lake and the Grand Marais Airport, not too far from Sawbill. Gunflint Guide Cory Christenson and his wife have opened up a restaurant there. They have a website. At one time, there was a lodge and cabins on the Lake, by the name of BJchees(sp). It was a little run down and inexpensive, but long since not in existence. I recall that Devil's Track is kind of murky, not clear like most of the area lakes. The walleye fishing was OK. I think that Sawbill Lake has been fished pretty hard. In that area, Brule Lake is a better bet for fishing.
DontPanic
member (50)member
 
11/07/2018 09:51PM
Bannock: "I agree with the others. I'd camp the night before at Sawbill Campground and shuttle my car the next morning to Kawishwi. For the night before, I pack an entire separate outfit - tent, sleeping pads and bags, stove and cooking gear, etc. Then dump it all in the car in the morning. Then all your tripping stuff is ready to go at the put in when it's time to go."

+1 That’s what we were thinking. Being able to just dump the gear in the car and go would be nice. So, is west to east the preferred direction? We were thinking to go 38 to 37 and dropping off one of our cars at 37 the day before we left
andym
distinguished member(4431)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/08/2018 12:03AM
Isn’t 42 the answer?

I agree with leaving the cars at Sawbill and have them drive you to Kawishiwi for your departure. That way you get back with all your stuff in one place and have no issues trying to make a pickup at the right time. Plus, your cars would be parked in a safer place at the outfitter. All in all, it just sounds like a relaxing way to go. Hmmm, maybe we should do that.
DontPanic
member (50)member
 
11/08/2018 01:38AM
andym: "Isn’t 42 the answer?"

Yes, yes it is. I should look into a ep 42 route, lol.
andym
distinguished member(4431)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/08/2018 07:29AM
I had to look it up. Not much of a route. 42 is Brule Lake and only allows camping on Brule.

For many years, I had my computer prompt set to Don’t Panic. Always good advice.
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/08/2018 08:36AM
I agree with several others... Sawbill Campground is very nice. Sawbill Outfitters are top notch. Leaving your vehicle at #38 is much safer than #37. Having an extra tent so you don't have to repack that first morning will get you on the water earlier. You can exit at your leisure and don't have a schedule to keep.
11/13/2018 09:32AM
The only thing about the extra tent that you need to think about is if it's raining, you'll have a mess on your hands. You're packing up a wet tent and leaving it like that for multiple days. If you leave it inside the vehicle, enjoy the ride home with the windows down. If you're throwing it in the bed of the truck, that has it's own issues with wind and/or more rain. Either way, it could end up ruining your tent.

We do different kitchen and chairs, but take the time to pack up the tent (hammock in my case) that we'll use on the trip.
 
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