BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
March 21 2023
Entry Point 16 - Moose/Portage River (North of Echo Trail)
Number of Permits per Day: 5
Elevation: 1348 feet
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
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!
June 20, 2005
Moose/Portage River (north)
Number of Days:
I awaken early Monday morning at Voyager North to the sound of thunder and the flash of lightening. The storms stop before daylight and we get up at 4:15 to get an early start, since it is the kids first trip. They are excited as I am at the start of this adventure. We arrive at the Moose River North Entry Point by 6:30 and unload to start the 160 rod portage down to the river. The sounds of the birds, and the bugs are loud in the morning stillness after the storms of the night before. Everything is gotten to the river with no problems and we are ready to start. The mosquito's are thick on the portage, a sign of things to come. The water is high and we have little problems making our way to Nina Moose Lake in good time. We pass several parties on their way out. The two 25 rod portages before Nina Moose are done with ease. As we hit the 70 rod portage after Nina Moose we start hitting more and more traffic of people leaving that day and the portage becomes crowded, but all goes smoothly and we get fishing reports from different parties. Some saying good, some saying bad... we know we will catch some fish! We make the short paddle to the 96 rod portage and pass it easily. Now just paddling for a while. Once we reach Agnes we decide to go ahead and push to Iron Lake... A long day but, it can be done. We take the 115 rod Boardwalk Portage out of Agnes into the Boulder River to save a little paddling... it is very muddy and hard on the kids and spouse. We next paddle to the 65 rod portage between Boulder and Lac La Croix, which exits by the ranger cabins... we have already seen several deer, and a couple of them were bucks in velvet... now we see a Bull Moose, trouble is he sees us and leaves rather quickly... He is visible as a black spot to the right of the canoe on the far shore. When we get to the portage we wait a few moments to give him time to get across the portage. The portage is evidently a popular one with moose as it is filled with tracks. We paddle on to Bottle portage, which will lead us to Iron. Bottle is muddy, but not too bad if you are careful where you step. Our oldest daughter was not careful and stepped into the clay on the Iron Lake side and sunk up to her knee... I had to dig her out with my hands while the others pulled. Now just a short paddle to Iron and find a suitable campsite. We go to the first site on the west bank of Iron, nice site, but rough for 3 tents, and a widow maker on the left side of the campsite... We leave the kids there and the wife and I paddle on in search of a nicer site. We check out the second site and find it to be on a nice flat point, with plenty of wind to keep the bugs away, but the latrine is way back into the woods with plenty of ticks and mosquito's. We paddle on to check other sites. The other sites we check are either taken or not a good as this one so we decide to stay there. Who ever had the site before us left a nice supply of wood and kindling. We set up camp and prepare a meal of Cheesy Chicken Enchilada, and stovetop stuffing... everyone eats and gets ready to go to bed... I heat water to allow my wife to try out the battery operated shower I had brought her... All I can say is that to her it was the high light of the trip... The kids are tired, bug bitten, but still excited... We retire to the sounds of the loons which we had missed so much and to the distant sound of Bottle River Rapids... Total miles traveled that day by the wife and I... according to the GPS is 19.1. Kids have done about 14.5 miles their first day and trip... I am very proud of them!!!!
Nina Moose Lake, Agnes, Lake, Boulder Lake Nina Moose Lake, Agnes, Lake, Lac La Croix, Bottle Lake, Iron Lake
We arise early and get packed up... we are on the water and paddling by 7:40 am. Bottle portage is drier and easier to manage this time, although the mosquitos are terrible. We get on Lac La Croix and the wind from the south starts to pick up... and we have several miles to go paddling straight into it. We pass the portage at the Ranger cabins We continue on, deciding to paddle the Boulder River and doing the 24 rod Portage instead of the 115 rod boardwalk into Agnes. Once we reach Agnes the wind is stronger and blowing straight into our face... I tell Bekah our oldest daughter to just paddle steady and we will be okay... she does great, she is also a beast on the portages... sometimes carrying two packs at a time... All of the kids are great especially now that I tell them we are going to go ahead and leave today because of possible bad weather coming. We make the crossing and head into the Nina Moose River where we are out of the wind and the paddling is easier... we come across an oddity here... a rock in the middle of the River with what appears to be "poop" on top we all wonder if it is beaver, moose, bear, or what??? We all have a much needed laugh. We continue on uneventful other than meeting others coming in, and on the portages... and we marvel at some of the things they bring with them... We finally reach the last portage and do the 160 back to the truck and load everything... Kids are worn out, Wife is worn out, I am tired but wish I could stay longer... but it is better to cut it short than possibly scare the kids to where they might never want to come back... We get to Ely, and Voyager North where we sell sunscreen for Lynn because of the sunburn that all of us suffer from... The hot showers and cold beverages feel and taste great... we head to DQ for 1/2 pound hamburgers, drinks and ice cream before we head home... The kids all get T-shirts at V-North and Piragis before we leave... At 8:50 pm we start the journey south... barely missing the bad weather I had felt was coming.
Gear that worked well: 1. Olympus 500 Digital Camera. 2. Battery operated shower 3. Themacell mosquito repeller 4. New Cook Kit
I will post more pictures to my photo page here on the site... Now to get ready for next years trip...