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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

April 22 2024

Entry Point 16 - Moose/Portage River (North of Echo Trail)

Moose/Portage 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 27 miles. Access is a 160-rod portage heading North from the Echo Trail.

Number of Permits per Day: 5
Elevation: 1348 feet
Latitude: 48.1230
Longitude: -92.0991
A favorite route offering many trip options and memorable things to see including;

World Class fishing for all four BWCA Species
Soaring granite hills and cliffs
Small lakes
Small rivers
Tumbling rapids and waterfalls
Wildlife, including Moose
Vistas from high points across the region if you're willing to climb. Rating Easy to Moderate. Day One. Get to EP16 off of the Echo Trail early. The initial portage is long, but well worn and smooth, sloping gently downgrade to the launch area. Load your canoe and head North. You'll be paddling with the slight current on this narrow winding river. The water is clear and make sure to tell the bowperson to watch for looming rocks!

Moose River to Agnes

by jenrobsdad
Trip Report

Entry Date: May 18, 2009
Entry Point: Moose/Portage River (north)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 4

Trip Introduction:
We left the Twin Cities around mid Sunday morning with my two kids Jen and Rob and my son's friend Ryan. This is the third trip Ryan has ever taken up and he was pumped and ready to go. My two were seasoned BDub campers and took things in stride. We arrived in Ely and checked into the Paddle Inn. We then rented our second canoe and the food pack from Piragis. We were greeted by Drew and he promptly took care of us. We packed the food pack and finished some of the last minute packing and turned in around 9PM. I could not sleep very well.

Day 1 of 4

Monday, May 18, 2009

We woke up around 2AM and left the Paddle Inn to stop at Holiday to grab a quick breakfast and coffee. We arrived at the Moose River entry around 4AM and started portaging in the dark. We finally started paddling around 5:30 AM. The wind was light and the temperature was just right. [paragraph break]We stopped at the "Top of the World" cliff and made the climb up. It was well worth the time and effort to climb. [paragraph break]We climbed down and pressed onward only to be greeted by wind and whitecaps on Nina-Moose Lake. Luckily the wind was from the south and pushed us across the lake. The trip went pretty well until we hit Lake Agnes. The whitecaps were once again bad. Rob and Ryan had no trouble paddling their canoe and staying on course while Jen and I fought the waves and had a tough time keeping the Old Town on course. We decided at that point that Lake Agnes would have to do for the night. We stopped at the same place Rob and I had camped at last year. [paragraph break]The wind finally calmed down late that afternoon. We had a nice fire going and put the Rib Eyes on the grill. I forgot tongs so I had to use a fork to turn the steaks and a few dropped off into the fire. Was not what I had hoped for for a good first night's meal. Poor Jen had half cooked burgers. I had to break out the frying pan to cook them for her liking. We cleaned up and the kids went out and fished the bay we were on. Jen caught a small sunny. Rob had a small Walleye that got away. We drank some hot chocolate and then went to bed.


Day 2 of 4

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We woke up to yet another day of wind and this time showers and cold. The lake was too choppy to fish so the kids tried from shore. No luck. We ended up sleeping and being lazy for most of the day. That night it was very cold. Was hard to stay warm. The night sky was finally clear but I was too cold to take my night photo shots.[paragraph break]


Day 3 of 4

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We woke up to a sunny morning. The wind was calmer then the past two days, but there was still a nip in the air. The kids fished on the bay. No luck. Once again the wind picked up, whitecaps on the lake. It did get warm even with the wind. We lazed out on the rocks and soaked in the sun. I got a bad sunburn. That night we decided we had enough of the wind. We decided we would leave the next day. It was once again a cold night.


Day 4 of 4

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We woke up around 10AM and it was a nice morning the lake was somewhat calm so we decided that we would break camp and leave. I wanted to give us an extra day just in case we ended up with wind again. But I spoke too soon. This day was as bad as it was all week. The wind was out of the southwest and we had whitecaps as we started out around noon. Rob and Ryan had no trouble paddling across Agnes. Jen and I fought the waves. We really had trouble keeping the canoe on track. We ended up getting turned around so many times. We finally decided it would be better to hug the shoreline. That seemed to help until we were almost drove into the rocks from the wind and waves. We finally made it to Nina-Moose River and the boys were waiting at the rock landing near the mouth of the river. I don't think I ever saw the waves that bad on Lake Agnes on any trip I ever took up. [paragraph break]We met some guys coming out of Oyster that was fishing on the Nina-Moose River at the end of the portage. They were catching smallies and northerns left and right. I think Ryan wished he could have stayed and fished. [paragraph break]We hit Nina-Moose Lake and the wind had died down a bit and was not an issue. We finished our last portage around 7PM and made it to Ely just in time for our traditional stop at Pizza Hut. [paragraph break]It was a trip unlike any other I have taken up. Rarely do you see front after front come in. We later found out it had been in the upper 90's in the Twin Cites and Snow in Minot. I can understand why we had the high winds with that kind of contrast in weather patterns.


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