BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

May 07 2021

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: 7
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!

Indian Sioux North Solo

by egknuti
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 18, 2018
Entry Point: Little Indian Sioux River (north)
Exit Point: Moose/Portage River (north) (16)
Number of Days: 13
Group Size: 1

Trip Introduction:
This is my yearly solo trip. Main purpose is fishing and relaxing.

Day 1 of 13

Monday, June 18, 2018 Entered Indian Sioux north around 9:00am. I had heard reports of bear problems on Shell earlier this spring and was glad to hear that this particular bear was no longer a threat. I still though, purchased bear spray just in case. River levels seemed high and the Elm Portage was flowing fast. A faster twosome passed me by on the portage and I didn't see anyone until Lower Pauness. The group camped on the lake was blasting their radio. I believe it was Bob Seger. When I got to Shell it was noticeably vacant. There was only one group camped on the lake. I secured the north campsite on Con Island. I nice site with beautiful Red Pines. The site is slightly elevated and there's not a good landing area close to camp. I take my time setting up camp and then decide to fish for a few hours before I grill my steak. After dinner I went fishing until just before sunset. Tonight the sunset was spectacular.


Day 2 of 13

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 Today I slept in until 7:30. It cooled down nicely over night making sleeping very comfortable. I took my time to enjoy the morning, had my coffee and fried some eggs for breakfast. Mayfly hatch overnight. Dead mayflies all over the lake. Spent the day fishing on Shell. Caught lots of walleye all throughout the day. Made a nice walleye dinner.


Day 3 of 13

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 I got up early to do some early morning fishing. I made my coffee and heading out onto the lake. I caught 5 Walleye and a Bass and then went back to camp to make another egg breakfast. Went out fishing again for the remainder of the day. Caught an additional dozen Walleye, one of which I had for lunch. The two groups that camped here last night left and no new groups entered today. Tonight, I have the lake to myself. I make pizza for dinner and then I fished until sunset. I made a fire and went to bed about 10:00.


Day 4 of 13

Thursday, June 21, 2018 I'm up early this morning to pack up and head to Lynx Lake. There's only one short portage to Little Shell and then a short paddle to Lynx. I take the campsite on the north side of the lake. It's surrounded with some old growth Red Pine. The campsite can easily accommodate two tents. So far this trip the weather has been perfect. It's been sunny with only slight breezes during the day and the night have cooled down nicely-and no rain. I'll spend two nights here to fish for Walleyes. After setting up camp I have my lunch of homemade beef jerky, dehydrated apples and a bagel with peanut butter(with nuts) and honey.I spend the afternoon fishing but with little luck. I caught a small walleye and a few small bass. Lynx is so clear I can see walleyes swimming underneath my canoe, but non were interested. [paragraph break] I see dark storm clouds off to west along with a little thunder so I'm forced off the lake. The storm stays to the west and I receive only a few drops of rain. I head out for the remainder of the evening to fish but end up paddling along side a loon for about 30 minutes.


Day 5 of 13

Friday, June 22, 2018 Got up early to do some morning fishing and caught a few small walleyes. Fished the remainder of the day. Again, I can see large walleyes in about 5-6ft of water and none are interested in anything I put down. I also see a lot of large bass in the shallows but none are biting. Another peaceful evening. A few storms out to the west.


Day 6 of 13

Saturday, June 23, 2018 Today I headed to Hustler Lake. There is a 280 rod portage into Ruby and then a 5 rod into Hustler Lake. The first half of the portage is mainly up hill. And there's a point at the end where you think you've finally plateaued but the portage has one more ascent. There are many nice old growth pines in the middle of the portage and many Moccasin Flowers as well. The paddle across Ruby is short. The lake is clear and is surrounded by many beautiful pines I planned on camping on the middle north site but there is a group there, so I decided to head toward the site on the south end. in hind-site I should have asked the group if they were leaving. I decide to have lunch and set up a tarp and wait to see what the other group is going to do. After eating, it appears the other group is gone. I pack everything up and paddle to my new site. This site has a few good tent pads close to the lake. The landing area is nice with a good spot to jump in the water. Watch out though, there is a very large snapping turtle that will eat your fish if you're not careful. The rest of the day I catch a few bass a several decent northerns. Also photographed the Swamp PInk Orchid and Pitcher Plant. Tonight I have the entire lake to myself.


Day 7 of 13

Sunday, June 24, 2018 Slept in this morning. Coldest morning of the trip. Enjoyed the morning sipping coffee before making breakfast. I fished all day catching lots of Bass and several decent sized Northerns. For the second night in a row I have the entire lake to myself.


Day 8 of 13

Monday, June 25, 2018

Today I moved on to Oyster. The portage is 320 rods. The first portion of the trail is up hill before leveling off. There was a stretch that was flooded in years past, today it is virtually dry.Double portaging, it takes me about an hour and a half to get to Oyster. I head to the campsite closest to the river portage. There used to be two large white pines on this site. One died as was cut down by the forest service and the other appeared to have been just blown over from a recent storm. There's a couple of good tent pads, good landing area and a great view of the lake. I get my tent and tarp set up, have lunch and get on the lake to do some trout fishing. The fish appear to be in about 45-55 feet of water and with an hour I've landed my first trout. I find a spot along the shore and fry it up. It tasted great!


Day 9 of 13

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 I decide to sleep in this morning and get up around 7:30. Another great day of perfect weather but no fish today. Another great sunset tonight.


Day 10 of 13

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I fish all day and finally landed a trout at about 4:00pm. There appears to be storms around me so I hug the shoreline to get back to camp. As it turns out, the storms stay east and west of me and I receive only a few drops of rain. Looks like all the sites are taken today.


Day 11 of 13

Thursday, June 28, 2018 I wake up early again to do some morning fishing. Another beautiful cool morning. I get my coffee going and head out across the lake. Within an hour, I catch a trout. I decide to paddle back to camp and have a trout breakfast. I can tell you, it tasted incredible. After breakfast I head out again and I land another trout and latter, I land another. By late afternoon, the wind has picked up and it looks like a storm is moving,and I'm forced to stop fishing. Should I wait the storm out or should I try and beat it back to camp? (I'm not going to be any safer back at camp). By now the wind is really whipping and I know I can't just cut across the lake; I'll have to hug the shoreline just in case the storm hits. Finally I decide to try and beat the storm. Maybe not the best decision, since there's limited areas where I can get ashore, but I go anyway. I start out somewhat sheltered from the wind but the last stretch is right into the wind. My adrenaline is pumping as try and keep my canoe under control. The rain begins to fall and I'm certain I've made a mistake. But within a few minutes the rain stops and it appears the storm is heading west of me. By the time I get back to camp, the wind has calmed at there is no sign of rain. Had I waited another 20 minutes, I would have had an easy paddle back to camp.


Day 12 of 13

Friday, June 29, 2018 Big thunderstorm rolled in this morning complete with lightening and big winds. I wake up this morning to the sound of thunder. My plan was to pack up and head to Ramshead Lake. I decide to start packing but leave the tarp up in case the storm hits. By 7:30 It's clear the storm is headed my way. The lightening strikes are becoming a concern so I decide to find a place to take shelter. The wind starts to pick up and in a few minutes Oyster Lake is boiling. The storm lasts about an hour and a half; thankfully no trees fell and no nearby lightening strikes. while it appears the danger is over, I'm still hearing thunder. I decide to sit tight, but already I see four groups crossing the lake. I'm really not sure of the wisdom this. After a bit of deliberation, I decide to stay another day on Oyster and do one more day of trout fishing. Tomorrow will be a longer paddle out but I'll have another chance to catch some trout. As it turns out, I was not disappointed.


Day 13 of 13

Saturday, June 30, 2018 I am awoken at 2:30am by thunder, flashes of lightening and pouring rain. Thankfully it's not windy and the lightening doesn't appear to hitting the ground, but each flash of lightening sends my heart racing. It rained so hard that I thought My tent was going to float away. By 5:30 the rain has stopped and I get up to start packing up. I know I have a long day ahead, but I want to savor the last hours on Oyster Lake. The morning is turning out to be another beautiful day. The portage out of Oyster is one of my favorites as it has some beautiful old growth White Pine, Red Pine and even Cedar. The Oyster River is clear and full of undulating Angel Hair Grass. Below the first portage there are several small beaver dams that I easily navigate over, and I eventually make it to the Nina Moose River. By 4:00 I am at the Nina Moose parking lot. While it's hot I feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and at the same time, a little sad that I'm leaving. The rest of my journeys into the BWCA this year will most likely be day trips, but I'm already thinking about next year!


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