Boundary Waters Route Blog
    Trip Reports
      Trip Report - 2016 BWCA solo loop Kawishiwi Lake - Alice - Fraser - Boulder - Malberg - Kawishiwi Lake
 
  Last Visit: 06/05/2020 01:55AM

Entry Point 37 - Kawishiwi Lake

Kawishiwi Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Tofte Ranger Station near the city of Isabella; Tofte, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 33 miles. Access is a boat landing at Kawishiwi Lake.

Number of Permits per Day: 9
Elevation: 1653 feet
Latitude: 47.8390
Longitude: -91.1036
Author Message Text
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/01/2016 09:34AM
 
New Trip Report posted by boonie

Trip Name: 2016 BWCA solo loop Kawishiwi Lake - Alice - Fraser - Boulder - Malberg - Kawishiwi Lake.

Entry Point: 37

Click Here to View Trip Report
Reply Top Bottom Previous Next
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/01/2016 09:37AM
 
This is part 2. Apparently it got too big to publish in one part.


Part 1
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/01/2016 09:40AM
 
Slideshow of more pictures
gymcoachdon
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/01/2016 10:27AM
 
Appreciate the report! I was in the Kawishiwi Triangle area at the same time, we entered the 5th, and exited the 10th. Some crazy weather for sure, but the warmer temps made it bearable, and we had a good time and good fishing.


We had just traveled to our last campsite, fighting a steady wind all day, and were lazily setting up camp when I noticed that the wind had died down. The calm before the storm, as they say. We quickly threw up a tarp for the gear, And I set up my hammock tarp as the rain started. My 3 brothers huddled under the tarp with the gear, I sat under my hammock tarp as the wind shifted directions, blowing at least 25 mph, then the hail started. This continued for about 30-45 minutes. In Indiana, we get hail frequently enough, but the storms are typically much shorter than this one, and the hail stones typically larger. the campsite was inundated, small creeks of water, filled with ice pellets, flowed under the tarps, and filled depressions. After it was over, we saw the double rainbow. I'm sure that storm will be the most lasting memory from this trip!


boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/01/2016 11:59AM
 
Thanks, Don-


I didn't have any hail on Polly, but a lot of rain, thunder, and lightning for ~ 3 hrs. It was a beautiful rainbow; definitely one of the trip highlights.
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/01/2016 11:59AM
 
double post
muddyfeet
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/01/2016 10:38PM
 
Sounds like a great trip! Good for you for getting back out and challenging yourself with a good loop. How did the Northwind solo do in the wind?
I have stayed on that same site on Alice and we also took notice of how a south wind can be funneled straight into camp. If I remember there may have been some more protected tent pad areas back in the woods to the south. I caught a real nice 19" walleye on the rocky part off of the point.
Thanks for the report.

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread; places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul" -John Muir
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/02/2016 07:15AM
 
The Northwind Solo did well in the wind, muddy, although I only had a couple of fairly windy days. I usually rent a Magic, but wanted to give the Northwind a test run. The Northwind has a little more rocker, but the same shear line. It's a little wider too. As you no doubt noticed in the pictures, my 2 packs, even with 12 days food, fit in it with loads of room to spare - more than I needed really. It did fine, but probably would have benefitted from a bigger load. I'll probably go back to the Magic, but not loads of difference between the two.
ducks
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/02/2016 05:38PM
 
Another great report boonie! Thanks for sharing.

Ride EZ
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/03/2016 01:37PM
 
Thanks, ducks. I gotta get in shape for next year now.
SaganagaJoe
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/03/2016 11:11PM
 
Sounds like a great trip. I'd love to get over into Fraser area someday, seems so secluded. You're not alone in needing to get back into shape- I'm quite a bit younger than you and my lower back still has not completely recovered from my late September canoe trip.


I can't believe someone would just leave his buddy out in the wilderness. Crazy.

aka HermitThrush "Such sights as this are reserved for those who will suffer to behold them." -Eric Sevareid
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/04/2016 11:15AM
 
A lot of people get to Fraser from the west. The area east of Fraser is lightly used and different from your big lakes. I liked it. My favorite day of the trip was going south from Boulder to Malberg. Second favorite was from Alice north to . . . Shepo.


Pack light, Joe. I've discovered that 30-40 lb. packs are a lot easier to handle and not as hard on the back; nothing I had to pick up was over 30 lbs., although the heavy load was 50 lbs. Don't forget those core exercises, young man. Most of mine is just arthritis though.


Yeah, that was pretty crazy, but . . . I almost left myself out there ;).
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/05/2016 08:43AM
 
Excellent report!


It sounds like you had plenty of adventure and your writing style really makes it come alive. Hope your recovery is going well, as I look forward to reading your future trip reports. Thanks for taking the time to share your photos & story.
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/05/2016 11:04AM
 
Thanks, TB. I'm glad I started doing trip reports a few years ago. It gives me a record for later years and preserves details that I tend to forget over time. I've tried going back to write ones from years ago before I started taking notes and getting them done while still fresh. That's very hard to do.


You'll be glad you've been doing them as Aurora grows and you grow older.
TomT
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/21/2016 05:05PM
 
Nice report as usual Boonie. I went the way north through Fraser in 2009 with my son and we could not find the portage to Cap from Roe. We ended up spending the night in a PMA on Raven Lake which wasn't even on my map. Then we doubled back our route. I really wanted to spend time on Boulder and Adams.


I'm curious why you don't use your own canoe? For all the rental money over the years you could have a few Magics by now. :) That Northwind looks nice and at 29 lbs. can't be beat.


The story of the stranded guy has to be one of the strangest I've ever heard. Well, at least you have a good story from it. Hope all is going well with your rehab. Will you be paddling in 2017?

"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." --- George Bernard Shaw
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/21/2016 08:30PM
 
Tom-


I had some information somebody here posted about the portage from Roe to Cap being some distance into the creek and when I got there it was fairly obvious. Not a hard portage and shorter than listed.


The area from Boulder to Adams was my favorite section of that trip, but enjoyed all the way from Alice to Kawishiwi River.


I don't have a canoe - no place to store one - that's why, but you're right. If we ever get a place I can store one, I plan to get one.


Yeah, it was a bizarre end to the trip :), but makes for a good story.


I do plan to come in 2017. Rehab is going well, but I'm not allowed to push my heart rate like I was before the last trip. I'm uncertain what my fitness level will get to and how much I'll be able to do, so probably a little low key this coming year until I know my limits.


You would like the Northwind, I think - bigger canoe than I needed, plenty of room for a dog, but it still paddled well for me. Yeah, it was easy to lift ;).
missmolly
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/23/2016 11:14AM
 
I love the photos and that labeling font. I also loved the details!

I will paddle eternal, Kevlar and carbon.
RoJoYo
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/09/2017 03:50PM
 
Boonie
Excellent report and photos. Useful in the planning of an upcoming mid September trip out of kawishiwi and basically a reverse of your trip. That is making it counter clockwise, coming into adams from the south and clearing Boulder then heading west, sagus,fraser,thomas,alice et al. Group minimum of three may be up to five come trip time. Two others new to bw but experienced with backcountry travel in the great smokies and glacier parks. Questions for you if you will indulge. Just how difficult would you rate navigating the adams to Boulder portage, and although it wouldn't be a route killer, can we assume low water through that area in mid September? Thanks so much for any info

"You don't stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing." B. Franklin
RoJoYo
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/09/2017 04:31PM
 
Actually I meant the navigation from Boulder to cap. Is the route you took the one as described by beymer?

"You don't stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing." B. Franklin
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/09/2017 07:08PM
 
RoJoYo-


Re: Beymer and Boulder-Cap portage navigation. I had been researching this for several years for a trip in the area but had ended up doing other things. This is what I would tell you now - forget all that stuff; it is a non-issue. It is obvious and straight-forward. I'm sorry about not getting any pictures, but my camera battery died unexpectedly and I didn't want to dig for one.


The portage north out of Boulder is easy to find. Follow it all the way to the creek, keep left past the muddy put-in/take-out unless you'd prefer wading through knee-deep mud and paddling 75-100 feet to wading through slightly deeper water to cross the creek. The creek is just a little too wide to jump over, just wade across and be done with it. Across the creek you have a short, but quite steep climb. After that it's not so bad although generally uphill (check the map contours) to the T-intersection with the Cap-Ledge portage, which is quite obvious and a nice trail. I'd say it's about 270 rods (vs. 135 on the map) from Boulder to the intersection with the Cap-Ledge portage trail.


If you just follow the obvious portage trail and don't try to find some short cut, you'll have no trouble with the navigation. Just make sure that you know how to recognize the Beaver-Adams portage landing on Beaver! ;).


You are going to enjoy this trip. I know you've been up to Koma, but once you get past Malberg and off the Kawishiwi River heading toward Beaver, you'll be in a much less traveled area. Adams is a beautiful lake; if you have extra time, that would be a great place to spend some. I really enjoyed the area between Adams and Boulder, too, as well as from there to Fraser. It's a nice paddle between Alice and Thomas through Cacabic.


I've been through that entry 3 times in Sept. I wouldn't worry too much about low water problems - once water was low, once normal, once high. A couple of portages may be extended a little, or you may get to skip a couple. There may be a couple of beaver dams. The most likely area for this would be between Kawishiwi and Polly. You may have the slight extension headed west out of Malberg that I did, although one year the beginning of that portage had ankle deep water to wade at the beginning. Recent reports are of high water in that area.


Just keep your load light, compact, and organized . . . and enjoy a really nice trip. You'll see some beautiful country :).


If you get any more questions, just ask. Enjoy your trip!





RoJoYo
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/18/2017 03:13PM
 
Boonie,
Thanks so much. That is just what I wanted to hear especially the line forget about that stuff. Sometimes it's hard to wade through the message boards to find a piece of info that seems reliable, but from reading your posts ands reports I think your descriptions kind of jive with how my group and I view our trips. Thanks again.

"You don't stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing." B. Franklin
boonie
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/18/2017 11:09PM
 
You're welcome, RoJoYo. I'll be looking forward to hearing how your trip went. The way will be obvious unless you are trying to find some bushwhack shortcut; there's nothing really confusing about it. Have fun!


I'll be up there in Sept. too, so maybe I'll run into you, although you didn't say the dates of your trip. I usually try to meet anybody who's there around the same time and available - watch for a post before I leave here in early Sept. Some of us may be meeting Sept. 9th in Duluth or the 10th in Grand Marais, or later in Sept. in Grand Marais.
Reply Top Bottom Previous Next
Routes
Trip Reports
a
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
x
Routes
Trip Reports
fd
hgc
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports