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Brsed
member (45)member
 
09/05/2016 09:57AM
Trying to plan for a Quetico trip in 2017. Any thoughts on starting north at a Canadian entry point and then ending up south at a US exit point. Have any of you done this before? What do you think would be a good route? What's a fair estimate of the number days it would take assuming we wouldn't want to kill ourselves but would travel about 7-8 hours a day at a moderate pace? Ideally, we are thinking 10 days of canoe travel but could stretch to 12. How would you deal with logistics assuming one car - I assume drop car at outfitter in US and get ride from outfitter to Canada with canoes? I would marginally prefer to exit at Cache Bay but that's not a "must have?" Right now in the dreaming stage so all thoughts welcome.

Thanks.
Brian
 
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sedges
distinguished member (310)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/05/2016 12:47PM
Brutal shuttle!

If you are taking 10-12 days and you are pretty seasoned travelers you could do Cache Bay to Pickerel Lake round trip in that time. That could probably allow some variation in the return route so you are not just turning around a covering the same ground on the return. You would have extra days without the shuttle.

By the way, the record Ely to Atikokan time is under 29 hours.
billconner
distinguished member(6810)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/05/2016 01:08PM
I thought Ft Dawson to PP was under 8 hours in the race on 100th anniversary. They paddled south on Saturday, party at PP, and back on Sunday.

With the time available, I'd think about looping back to car. Lots of big loops. Maybe down through Kashapiwi and back through Man and Falls Chains maybe.
Ho Ho
distinguished member(2370)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/05/2016 06:06PM
We did north-to-south in 2014 and just finished a south-to-north yesterday. Both were 10 nights - but the 2014 route was much harder and could have used a couple more days for maximum enjoyment, whereas the trip we just did included a layover day and several shorter days.

The 2014 trip started at Beaverhouse and ended at Mudro. Since we live in Ely and have two vehicles, we parked one at Mudro, drove the other to BH, and a couple days after the trip drove back to get the one at BH (a day-long endeavor from Ely). The 2016 trip started at Prairie Portage (car parked at Moose Lake, with tow all the way to Lincoln Island) and ended at Beaverhouse. For this trip we coordinated with friends who did a north-to-south at the same time so that we could drive the car they left at Beaverhouse back at the end of out trip, while they could use the car we left at the EP on the south side.

If you don't have those options, I think the cost of getting an outfitter to drive the entire distance between Ely or the Gunflint and the north side to drop you off could be quite expensive. It's a long trip around, especially because the outfitter would have to do it round trip. In fact, at that point it might almost be as cheap to fly up there - just a thought. It might be worth calling some outfitters now just to scope it out. If there's any way you can manage the cars yourself, you'd definitely save some money. Of course, it might well be worth the money to you to save the hassle.

Anyway, if you can work the shuttle out, 10 days is sufficient, 12 days allows even more leeway, so get out the maps and start the dreaming/planning. If you decide you're interested in a route between Beaverhouse and the Ely area I'd be glad to share ours with you.

dentondoc
distinguished member(1058)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/05/2016 08:09PM
The only actual north-south trip I've taken was between Beaverhouse and Prairie Portage ... this was in 2004. We took the "pricey" option to achieve this by flying from Ely to the Ranger Station on Beaverhouse. Our outfitter had pre-positioned a canoe at the ranger station on an earlier trip, so we could take advantage of that plus use a smaller float plane to get us and our gear to Beaverhouse (with a stop off at Canadian Customs and Sandy Point). That trip was 14 days, but we had 4 full layover days along the way to and explore.

While not a true north-south trip, I also did a trip in 2009 which started at Cache Bay and went up the Falls Chain thru Kawnipi to McIntyre. On our exit, we made a turn at Kenney and did the route from McEwen to Louisa and then out via Agnes/Sunday to PP. We drove to our jump-off point on the Gunflint and arranged for a friend to drive our vehicle back to one of the Ely-area outfitters. My friend was taking a trip that started on Moose Lake, ran the border route to Sag. She was looking for transport back to Ely. So we arranged our trips so that we would arrive for our trip's departure on the day she ended her trip. That arrangement worked out to the benefit of both of us.

So bottom line, there are a number of ways to work the logistics to do an "end-to-end" kind of trip.

dd
Ho Ho
distinguished member(2370)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/05/2016 09:28PM
Since I just created a Google Earth map of our 2016 south-to-north trip and I have one of the 2014 north-to-south trip, I figured I'd share them here. Alternating days are shown in the different colors on the maps. The first one is the 2016 trip we just completed, and the second one is the 2014 trip.



Banksiana
distinguished member(1663)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/05/2016 09:45PM
I did a Moose Lake to Nym lake solo in late August- single portaging and three nights and did not really feel pushed. I used Kahshapiwi Creek as the main South to North run. Camped on Isabella (bad conditions on Bailey bay on the first day- wind did not allow crossing until after five pm), The Maligne and Pickerel.
Jackfish
Moderator
 
09/06/2016 08:09AM
We did a north-to-south trip in 2010. Kind of a dream trip that I'd wanted to do for a long time. Without a map for specifics, I'll give you the route to the best of my memory.

We put in at Beaverhouse, then on to Quetico, Jean, Little Jean, Yeh, Lonely, Sturgeon, Russell, Poets Chain, Kawnipi, Falls Chain, Saganagons, Man Chain, Carp, Birch, Moose Chain (BW) and took out at the Moose Lake boat landing next to Latourell's.

Our trip was eight days with two layover days, one on Kawnipi and one on a small lake between Saganagons and the Man Chain. We weren't trying to be speedy, but we single-portaged everything so we were able to make some pretty good distance per day. If I were to do the same (or similar) route again, I'd add another layover day, not because we were tired - just to add a little more enjoyment of being in Q.

The key for us was the shuttle. I have a business friend in International Falls whose sister and brother-in-law are both retired. We picked up the sister and BIL in I-Falls and they rode with us to the Beaverhouse landing. After we were off, they drove back home. The next day, they drove my van and their own car to the Moose Lake landing and locked the van keys inside, then drove back to I-Falls. I had the spare set of keys with me. Worked perfectly. We agreed on $300 for their efforts which we were happy to pay.

Let me know if you'd like more info.
Mocha
distinguished member(7262)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/06/2016 09:52AM
we've done beaverhouse to gunflint lake. it could be done in 10-12 days or less, but we took 18 days to do it.

i have a map in my photo gallery beaverhouse to gunflint 2010.

Kiporby
distinguished member(4459)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/06/2016 01:22PM
I did a trip from Beaverhouse to Cache Bay a few years ago. We did it in 6 days. Easy to travel long miles on that route with fewer portages when you got big Quetico, Sturgeon and Kawnipi Lake along the way.

We had our outfitter drive us from Gunflint Trail to Beaverhouse. Took about 6 hours.
Brsed
member (45)member
 
09/06/2016 08:30PM
Thank you for all of the great information. This gives me a good deal to think / dream about over the winter. Sounds like a grand adventure so I'm going to think hard about doing it. I'm always amazed by the depth of information on this site.

Thanks again.

Brian
09/09/2016 07:16AM
With my spring group we did a crossover trip in May 2009. Four of ten went to French Lake heading south and the other six of us headed north from Cache Bay after a shuttle from the end of the Gunflint. We started on Sunday morning and finished on Friday afternoon after meeting on Tuesday evening and trading van keys. Easily done in six days but we moved each day.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12832)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/12/2016 02:29PM
From Pickeral lake down thru Kawnipi-Cairn chain or Canadian Agnes to Moose landing would be very awesome.
KCMOcat
Guest Paddler
 
09/16/2016 10:41PM
In 2015, we drove to Seagull Outfitters at the end of the Gunflint Trail and arranged for a float plane to fly down from the north end of the Quetico. They flew us up to a lake north of the provincial park and we paddled about 80 miles to get back to American Point for a tow back to Seagull Outfitters. We did a leisurely 12 day trip with several layover days on Kawnipi! Truly enjoyed all of it including the Falls Chain.
carmike
distinguished member(1569)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/26/2016 12:03AM
I did a north-to-south trip solo two years ago. Entered Nym/Batch and worked my way east to Pickerel, south through sturgeon and the Poet Chain, to Kawnipi and Kash and out via Basswood and Fall Lake. I was looking for a Atikokan to Ely trip, so that's why I picked that route; if I did it again, I'd exit at Moose Lake instead.

My dad's retired, so we drove two vehicles to the Fall Lake parking lot and then he dropped me off at Nym.

I don't have much to add, other than to remember that the distance isn't *that* great. If you can swing the shuttle, a week from Nym to Moose/Fall is very doable, assuming you don't get five days of big south winds. There are so many excellent side trips and fishing spots and pictos and just general goodness that I'd take as long as you can muster, but even a week would be enough and, depending on how you portage, not that demanding. Just my .02, and good luck with the planning!


DancesWithTrees
distinguished member (255)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/27/2016 10:45AM
It's a little more obscure, and harder, but if you want a cross-border, cross-park trip, I'd go in at Cache, go up Sag and the Falls chain into Kawnipi, then go up into MacKenzie, Cache, then Trousers-Baptism-Creek out. You would get downstream on the chain and Baptism creek. And on the 2nd half of the trip you'd hit probably the least-visited quadrant of the park with some great fishing opportunities, pictographs, and plenty of solitude.

I've done all those sections in parts, but never in one shot, because the shuttle between north side of QPP and the American side in Ely is either painfully long and logistically difficult, or really expensive if you fly. Would be a great adventure though.
ogarza
member (45)member
 
09/28/2016 01:42PM
We did 9 days from Basswood to Nym, passing through Sarah, Kahshawpiwi, Shelley, Sturgeon, Jesse, Elizabeth, etc.

It would have been much easier and faster going through Agnes, Kawnipi, etc.

So 10 to 12 days should be plenty of time.

We didn't kill ourselves, but it wasn't a walk in the park either, some days we did 9 portages, others we did 3. If we would have done more days, we would have traveled the same and just spent extra layover days, we only did 2 this time.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(863)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/03/2016 02:27PM
We made the trip from Pickerel Lake to Cache Bay in 2006. Three dads and three sons. We took 14 days, had several layover days and fished a good amount.

trip map

This map used to have some interactive pictures and descriptions... no longer work, but you can see our route and camp locations.

We had a blast, wonderful weather and created great memories. We even had t-shirts make up for the Trans-Quetico Trip with starboard and port on the correct sleeves.

We stopped at the Trail Center following the trip for a lunch and the female bartender told us that she did the same route in 3 days with a case of whiskey. She was believable!

Oh yeah... we had another tripper for 3 days and he returned from Olifaunt and moved a vehicle to Grand Marais for us. Seagull Outfitters sent a kid (off time) and brought our vehicle up the Trail. The tripper who shuttled our vehicle was detained at the border with a felon hitchhiker, in a car he didn't own, with six extra passports stashed by the spare tire, etc! That story did not come out for many years...
kscorps
member (17)member
 
10/05/2016 08:48PM
I went on probably my favorite route this past summer: We began at Batchewaung and finished on Moose. I'll just lay out the days here:

Day 1: Batchewaung to Pickerel Narrows
Day 2: Pickerel Narrows to Upper Sturgeon via Twin Lakes
Day 3: Upper Sturgeon to Lower Sturgeon (just north of the entrance to the Maligne)
Day 4: Lower Sturgeon to Minn via the Maligne River
Day 5: Minn to Iron via Lac la Croix(Camped at Rebecca Falls!!!)
Day 6: Iron to Argo
Day 7: Argo to McIntyre via Brent
Day 8: McIntyre to Sarah
Day 9: Sarah to Burke
Day 10: Burke to Moose

This route literally had it all: Curtain Falls, Rebecca Falls, Argo (!!!), the Lac la Croix pictographs, the Darkwater pictographs, the Maligne River, Black Robe Portage, the underrated Curtain Falls portage, the Rebecca Falls campsite.... I could go on forever. This route is taxing but it's so, so worth it. You see absolutely everything the park has to offer! I'll end up writing a trip report about this sooner or later.
MagicPaddler
distinguished member(1200)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/06/2016 06:31AM
Outfitter offering a service to drop you off or pick up. Shuttle Service
I have used Dougs services before and he has always done an excellent job
Jackfish
Moderator
 
10/06/2016 07:59AM
quote kscorps: "I went on probably my favorite route this past summer: We began at Batchewaung and finished on Moose. I'll just lay out the days here: "
I just added a new trip to my to-do list.
Lailoken
senior member (82)senior membersenior member
 
10/06/2016 01:23PM
Leaving on the 15th for 15 day solo trip. Next year, NORTH to SOUTH!
McOdie
member (8)member
 
10/09/2016 07:24PM
We just came back from a 11 day trip from Beaverhouse Lake to Ely. It would have been a 10 day or less trip but winds kept us off the lake for a couple of days. I am sure younger paddlers would do better in the white cap waves, but we choose to stay off the lake with high winds. We came through Beaverhouse, Quetico, Jean, Darcy (I believe that is the lake). We did run a few rivers. We came out Basswood Lake. We did take our time at the beginning to fish. We heard an awful scream that sounded like a house cat. It went off twice and then stopped after we yelled at it. Any ideas what that might have been?
Pinetree
distinguished member(12832)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/09/2016 07:42PM
quote McOdie: "We heard an awful scream that sounded like a house cat. It went off twice and then stopped after we yelled at it. Any ideas what that might have been?"
Maybe an owl
TomF
member (11)member
 
01/20/2017 03:14PM
Did not read through all the posts. Sorry if below were covered, and if this is too late.

We've done Beaverhouse to Death March/Conmee to Moose/Ely. Outstanding.

Last trip 2015 did Nym through Russell, to Shelley to Kashipiwi, to Moose/Ely. Very nice route.

Both require a half day shuttle (we used Piragis/Ely). The half day drive is a bit of a hassle, but we loved the feeling of point to point. In retrospect, would actually prefer S to N (less people as you go) except the shuttle would be at the end, would not be fun.
thinblueline
distinguished member (478)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2017 08:21PM
quote TomF: "Did not read through all the posts. Sorry if below were covered, and if this is too late.


We've done Beaverhouse to Death March/Conmee to Moose/Ely. Outstanding.


Last trip 2015 did Nym through Russell, to Shelley to Kashipiwi, to Moose/Ely. Very nice route.


Both require a half day shuttle (we used Piragis/Ely). The half day drive is a bit of a hassle, but we loved the feeling of point to point. In retrospect, would actually prefer S to N (less people as you go) except the shuttle would be at the end, would not be fun. "


What did piragis charge you to shuttle you to the north side?
QueticoMike
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01/22/2017 03:47PM
I have flown into Beaverhouse and paddled back down to PP. If you want to read about it, Google - Full Tour Michael Teach - ......the story was in the USA Today Travel Section
 
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