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December 10 2023

Entry Point 14 - Little Indian Sioux River North

Little Indian Sioux River (north) entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by La Croix Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 32 miles. Access is a 40-rod portage heading North from the Echo Trail.

Number of Permits per Day: 6
Elevation: 1364 feet
Latitude: 48.1466
Longitude: -92.2103

LLC to Moose Lake

by Kendis
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 07, 2023
Entry Point: Little Indian Sioux River (north)
Exit Point: Moose Lake (25)
Number of Days: 10
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
Planned 16 day trip between LIS to Lake One was cut short by the Spice Lake fire in June 2023.

Day 1 of 10


Wednesday, June 07, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Little Indian Sioux (North), driven to EP by outfitter from EP 25 Moose Lake. [paragraph break] End: Upper Pauness Lake [paragraph break] Number of portages: 2 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 100 [paragraph break] Travel time: 2.5 hours [paragraph break] Wildlife: swans, eagle [paragraph break] Campsite: #38, fair [paragraph break] Weather: mid 70s/upper 40s, windy, partly cloudy [paragraph break] Comments: decided to stop on Upper Pauness rather than risk not finding a campsite on Loon Lake. [paragraph break] ~Upper Pauness Lake

 



Day 2 of 10


Thursday, June 08, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Upper Pauness Lake [paragraph break] End: Snow Bay, Lac La Croix [paragraph break] Number of portages: 3 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 250 [paragraph break] Travel time: 6 hours [paragraph break] Wildlife: swans, garter snake, loon, eagle + nest (near campsite #9) [paragraph break] Campsite: #9, good [paragraph break] Weather: high 70s/low 50s, calm, clear [paragraph break] Comments: Saw the rail car in action at Beatty Portage between Loon and LLC. Recreational Barrel Works barrel harness bottom strap failed on Devil's Cascade portage. The first of multiple failures on this trip where the bottom strap slipped out of its buckle. Recommend against this harness for fully loaded food barrels. Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller (gas powered) works well against mosquitos, ineffective against other bugs. Motor boats mostly respectful with wakes. [paragraph break] ~Upper Pauness Lake, Lower Pauness Lake, Loon Lake, Lac La Croix

 



Day 3 of 10


Friday, June 09, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Snow Bay, Lac La Croix [paragraph break] End: Fish Stake Narrows, Lac La Croix [paragraph break] Number of portages: 0 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 0 [paragraph break] Travel time: 6 hours [paragraph break] Wildlife: seagull, snake in firepit stones at campsite #167 [paragraph break] Campsite: #167, fair, no tarp spot at firepit, water access poor [paragraph break] Weather: upper 70s/lower 50s, 5-7 mph W wind, partly cloudy [paragraph break] Comments: got lost amongst the many little islands in the center of LLC, followed the compass east until Twentyseven Island. 2 mile open water crossing between Twentyseven Island and Coleman Island, completed in 30 minutes. [paragraph break]

 



Day 4 of 10


Saturday, June 10, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Fish Stake Narrows, Lac La Croix [paragraph break] End: Fish Stake Narrows, Lac La Croix [paragraph break] Number of portages: 0 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 0 [paragraph break] Travel time: 0 [paragraph break] Wildlife: Raven, eagle, vulture, watched a dragonfly larva attach itself to the inside of tent rain fly and then hatch [paragraph break] Campsite: #167 [paragraph break] Weather: Cloudy in AM, partly cloudy in PM, 10-12 mph NE wind [paragraph break] Comments: Windbound (rest day) [paragraph break] ~Lac La Croix

 



Day 5 of 10


Sunday, June 11, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Fish Stake Narrows, Lac La Croix [paragraph break] End: Sunday Bay, Crooked Lake [paragraph break] Number of portages: 2 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 220 [paragraph break] Travel time: 7 hours [paragraph break] Wildlife: merganzers, mallards, mouse, vulture [paragraph break] Campsite: #1876, very good, poor water access [paragraph break] Weather: upper 60s/low 50s, partly cloudy to mostly sunny, winds calm @ 5:00am, rising to 11 mph @11:00am, N wind [paragraph break] Comments: Entered the wrong bay for west end of Bottle Portage, went partway through a swamp until realizing the error. Had to take the short portage from the bay behind Curtain Falls to reach the main portage because unable to safely paddle upstream. Had to paddle, probably unsafely, in big seas between Curtain Falls and campsite #1876. Discovered abandoned campsite, probably from logging days, on SW corner of campsite #1876 island. Previous #1876 campsite occupants left multiple rolls of toilet paper and baby wipes at latrine, felt bad for them. Saw LLC pictographs. Multiple late-day paddlers checked out our site (6:00, 6:50, 8:00), sunset near 8:30. [paragraph break] ~Lac La Croix, Iron Lake, Crooked Lake

 



Day 6 of 10


Monday, June 12, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Sunday Bay, Crooked Lake [paragraph break] End: Crooked Lake near Basswood River [paragraph break] Number of portages: 0 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 0 [paragraph break] Travel time: 5.5 hours [paragraph break] Wildlife: Eagles, loon, merganzer, mallard, Canada goose, vulture, tadpoles [paragraph break] Campsite: #1864, poor, steep and small, water access poor [paragraph break] Weather: mid 70s/lower 50s, clear, calm @ 5:00am rising to 10mph @ 12:00 N wind [paragraph break] Comments: Moving water at north end of Thursday Bay and north of Wednesday Bay. Had to ascend a tongue at Thursday Bay. Both locations had many boils and whirlpools making steering unpredictable. Used the Scrubba for first time. Makes clothes less dirty but not clean. [paragraph break] ~Crooked Lake

 



Day 7 of 10


Tuesday, June 13, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Crooked Lake near Basswood River [paragraph break] End: Basswood Lake south of Basswood Falls [paragraph break] Number of portages: 4 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 450 [paragraph break] Travel time: 8 hours [paragraph break] Wildlife: swans, frog, toad, unknown shrieking animal in the woods that sounded like dilophosaurus from Jurrasic Park. [paragraph break] Campsite: #1533, poor, water access abysmal, but "any port in a storm" [paragraph break] Weather: upper 70s/low 50s, clear to partly cloudy, calm @ 5:30 rising to 10mph by 1:00 [paragraph break] Comments: Saw Crooked Lake pictographs. Took the Canadian side for first three ports. Approach to south landing of US port at Wheelbarrow Falls looked difficult and possibly dangerous. Might be able to attain on river left and cross eastern fall tongue. Couldn't find south landing of US port for rapids south of Basswood Falls, used nice Canadian side instead. Basswood Falls portage long but straightforward. Would not plan a trip going upstream on Basswood River again. [paragraph break] ~Crooked Lake, Basswood Lake

 



Day 8 of 10


Wednesday, June 14, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Basswood Lake south of Basswood Falls [paragraph break] End: Wind Lake [paragraph break] Number of portages: 2 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 215 [paragraph break] Travel time: 6 hours [paragraph break] Wildlife: loons, seagull, swans, turtle, beaver, muskrat, osprey [paragraph break] Campsite: #1662, very good, tent pad options mediocre, water access superb [paragraph break] Weather: low 70s/upper 50s, AM mid to lower 60s and windy, cloudy to mostly sunny, winds 6mph @ 5:00am rising to 9mph early afternoon, N wind. [paragraph break] Comments: Should have stopped to warm up at Wind Bay/Wind Lake portage, frankly risked hypothermia due to AM low temps, winds, and cold feet from wetfooting, in the afternoon a group paddled past playing a ukulele and singing ala Dave Green of Northern Scavenger. Decided to continue trip through Wind Lake instead of Prairie Portage due to unfavorable wind forecast (NE winds) based on past Basswood travel experience. [paragraph break] ~Basswood Lake, Wind Lake

 



Day 9 of 10


Thursday, June 15, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Wind Lake [paragraph break] End: Wind Lake [paragraph break] Number of portages: 0 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 0 [paragraph break] Travel time: 0 [paragraph break] Wildlife: loon, eagles fighting mid-air, osprey, swan, turtles laying eggs [paragraph break] Campsite: #1662 [paragraph break] Weather: AM 50s/PM lower 60s/overnight upper 40s, clear, winds 6mph @ 5:00 rising to 11mph early afternoon, NE winds unfavorable for Moose Lake travel based on past experience. [paragraph break] Comments: Windbound (rest day). Beginning early afternoon, heard many motor noises. Seemed too deep/powerful to be motorboats. Assumed seaplanes and concluded possible forest fire to the east. Decided to end trip early and exit to Moose Lake on the next day. Should have asked family via InReach to confirm but didn't. [paragraph break] ~Wind Lake

 



Day 10 of 10


Friday, June 16, 2023 [paragraph break] Start: Wind Lake [paragraph break] End: Moose Lake [paragraph break] Number of portages: 1 [paragraph break] Total portage rods: 175 [paragraph break] Travel time: 2 hrs 15 min [paragraph break] Wildlife: loons, deer, peregrine falcon [paragraph break] Campsite: N/A [paragraph break] Weather: 50s, clear, calm, condensation overnight and fog on water in morning [paragraph break] Comments: Outfitter told us there was a forest fire and BWCA closed east of Thunder Point. Original trip plan had been to end at Lake One, which would not have been possible as much of the route went through the closure area. Had a great trip anyway, although a bummer not to complete it as planned. Not much meat on the bone of these comments, but a good reference for me for the future for travel time/distance on future trips. [paragraph break] ~Wind Lake, Moose Lake

 

Lakes Traveled:   Wind Lake, Moose Lake,

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