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Review Text

06/06/2009 11:08AM
I've never done a loop before. A friend and I are talking about doing one summer 2010 with the wives.

I welcome any advice on a nice loop with decent walleye & smallmouth fishing along the way. Some helpful info:

6 days in July/August.
Daily travel time 10am - 6pm (the wife sleeps in).
Slower travel- 2-3 lakes per day with some fishing along the way.
Throw in a cool point of interest if one exists (waterfall, rock formation, etc).
We're all experienced BWCA base-campers & not shy of a challenge.

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06/06/2009 12:41PM
Better check permit availability and go from there.
06/06/2009 12:44PM
hes looking at 2010.
06/06/2009 01:46PM
Sorry-I got untied. Sawbill-Temperence loop may work. There are alot of good trip reports.
06/06/2009 09:03PM
you could start from clearwater EP62 i believe. go up to mountain go east and make a loop. mountain has nice cliffs and the border route trail for hiking. the west side of pine lake has a nice waterfall. you have to hike to get to it but well worth it.

it would be clearwater-mountain-north fowl-royal-john-mcfarland-pine-little caribou-caribou-clearwater.

or another option clearwater-mountain-north fowl-royal-john-east pike-west pike-clearwater then go down to the caribous which have good fishing and day trip to johnson falls like we did.
or from west pike lake you could take the 320 rod portage to pine and exit through caribous and clearwater.
never did these routes but they sound possible. hope this helps.
06/07/2009 09:44AM
Thanks Pike, I'll look at those options. How's the fishing?
06/07/2009 11:10AM
You could try Saganaga out to Knife and back in through Seagull. Start and end in the same parking lot. Lots of options for shorter trip if that is what you want.

If you paddle till 6 pm you run the risk of not finding a site on some of the lakes. Especially during July and August.

06/07/2009 11:20AM
fishing probably isnt great on mountain cause the water is clear. i could see 20 ft down. pine supposedly isnt good for fishing. caribous are good for bass walleye and pike. check out my trip report. ask others for fishing on other lakes.
07/14/2009 06:59AM
Both of the Pikes and John are good fishing. There is also a neat over look of West Pike lake on its east end on the Boarder Route Trail.
07/14/2009 08:19AM
Try EP 23, up the Horse River to Basswood Falls, and Crooked. Then back down through Papoose, Wagosh, Gun, Boot, etc. Plenty to see (Basswood Falls, Pictographs) and great fishing. You could do the whole loop only duplicating one lake (Mudro).
07/14/2009 09:58AM
check the various outfitters websites. Many have a section for routes
07/14/2009 11:25AM
A lot of east-end ideas. Many long lakes that the wind can hinder you on. Also, not as many good campsites on the east end lakes, and not as many little side trip lakes available. You may need to convince your wife to take afternoon naps, rather than sleeping in. Most miles before noon are "free"--cooler, less windy.

Consider the comment above this one about going in from Mudro, down horse River, and up into Crooked Lake. Once you get beyond Lower Basswood Falls you won't see nearly as many people, and there is great fishing, although probably better in June. Check out your BWCA history--pictographs just north of L.Basswood Falls, Table Rock farther north, old car on island at north end of Thursday Bay (on a Quetico island, next to obvious campsite, facing south into Th. bay). Probabloy was used by loggers as a power source. Farther south, at Gun lake, if you take the chain of small lakes to Fourtown, they are pretty. If you go to Moosecamp Lake and then take the stream into Fourtown (ask about water levels). 4 years ago there were logs chained together along the stream by the loggers in the '30's? to keep cut timber in the stream. Many good campsites on this route, but not many outstanding ones on Crooked itself.

Or, consider a loop out of Tuscarora that goes down into Little Saganaga. All kinds of choices and pretty lakes in there.
07/14/2009 07:08PM
Had another loop occur...Start at Lake One and go thru Insula and then up to Thomas (two routes to get there). Then on thru to Ima, out thru the little lakes to Disappointment, and out to Snowbank. Then hitch or hike back to your vehicle (3.5 miles?). The only tougher portage is the 180 from Insula north. Many good campsites on the route--Insula is loaded, almost all good on Ima. The only clear pictographs are just beyond Alice, on the Kawishiwi (a little out of your way), and there are some probable ones in the really pretty channel between Ima and Jordan. Abeautiful waterfall alongside the portage from Jordan heading towards Ashigan, and you don't need to do that portage to go to Disappointment. A better month to do this loop, or any route, is mid-September--no bugs, not many people, great sleeping weather. In August you better be looking for a campsite by 2:30 or 3:00 (get up and get going on traveling days).
07/14/2009 08:01PM
I'm doing the Lake One to Snowbank loop in reverse. A couple advantages to this. We are staying at Smiity's Resort the night before and getting a vehicle shuttle over to Lake One and then a tow across Snowbank when we start. We can also eat breakfast in the dining room the morning we go in.

You can make a longer loop by going all the way to Boulder then through adams and on to Insula. Insula is an excellent lake with many great sites and good fishing.

The Robert Beymer book details this route and many other loops too.
07/18/2009 09:05AM
Thanks for all the sage advice. I've been cruising the trip reports and reading my "Exploring the Boundary Waters" book as well.

Kevlar & Tom T- that route stood out in my my other readings. A lot of good words out there about Insula. The one drawback I've picked up on are the crowds. I was thinking we'd park a car at each EP before starting, but I might look into Tom's advice and save the gas driving up.

Thanks again
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