If you were walking to Johnson Falls which EP would you pick and why? I was thinking that East Bearskin lake would be the best route, but I am still not sure. I have heard of others starting from Caribou or Clearwater lakes and others coming in from the east side of Pine Lake.
Any suggestions? Also how is the snow on the lakes? Hard and fast I hope.
Maybe I should add that we plan to setup camp a couple miles before/from the falls and spend the second day exploring the area.
Depends. The easiest is to enter at Pine and just paddle there. The hardest is from Canoe Lake (one of the killer portages of the BWCA). Moon, Deer, Caribou, Little Caribou is easier, but is very popular and might be hard to find a site.
I've never done it, but I think all the portage from Clearwater to Caribou are tough.
"but is very popular and might be hard to find a site."
If its tough to find a campsite this weekend I'm not going! I was actually looking for the shortest route I guess. Portages aren't too much of a concern since its all one long portage this time of year.
Sorry about not explaining the time of the trip better.
Can only comment on the route starting at Clearwater and going through Caribou. Clearwater has a decent parking area. Fishhouses and snowmobiles might be on this lake. Possibly might initially give you some trail to follow.
Take the first portage to Caribou. The eastern portage is more difficult and Caribou does not have the fishhouses. This first portage is kinda long, but pretty easy in winter.
We camped on Caribou. Day trip to Johnson Falls was pretty easy. Although, when we did this last winter, there was very little snow.
Be careful of the ice where the creek empties into Pine. And be careful of ice on the creek. The path to the falls is on the south side, although we had trouble finding it and just followed the creek up.