BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
June 06 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!
2007 Moose River Trip
May 10, 2007
Moose/Portage River (north)
Number of Days:
Left motel in Ely around 4:00 AM. After a stop at Holiday Station for breakfast snacks and coffee we were off. Arrived at EP 16 around 5AM and started portaging. It went slow because of the group size, and the age of the younger kids. We made a mistake of pairing up two of the kids that had little paddling experience. They zigzagged down the Moose River. As we hit Nina Moose Lake the wind came out of the north and was strong. We ended up stopping at the peninsula camp site. After we regrouped, we set out again. The next two portages on Nina Moose River were rough. I made a huge mistake by going down the rapids on one of the Nina-Moose portages. First two canoes made it ok. The one my son Rob and Carol's son Ryan was in ended up capsizing. We almost lost our food bags, and equipment. My son Rob often tells me he should have said no and taken portage instead! We arrived on Lake Agnes to once again face wind. We stopped on a site to regroup and ended up staying the night. Ryan caught a few Walleye and let them go.
Woke up to sunshine and warmth. We lazed around finally decided to push on to Lac around 2PM. By then wind rose up and we had some small waves to contend with. We took the 24 rod portage to Boulder Bay and decided to paddle the Boulder River. We had to dodge a lot of rocks and portage a small area of the river that had a small drop off. We were all feeling good about the time we were making at that point. We came to an area of the river where there were boulders all across the river. We found a small opening on the left side where we had to go thru to continue. The first two canoes made it ok. My canoe got hung up on a rock and the current pulled the canoe down and swamped us. We were cold wet and tired. We retrieved everything including three soaked sleeping bags. It was almost dark as we finally warmed up somewhat in dry sleeping bags. We took out the rest of the bags and spent the night there.
By this time my 17 year old daughter Jenny was ready to go home. I felt if we made it this far we had to go all the way to our campsite. After a vote, we pressed on. Got to LLC and had some wind again. Found our site and set up camp. Was a nice day. Kids fished, but no luck. Younger kids played on the beach. I slept most of the afternoon. Had Bear Creek Chili that night and went to bed feeling happy.
We woke about 8:30 AM and knew we had a long day ahead of us. By the time we all packed we left around 11:00AM. Took the 65 rod portage instead of Boulder River. Ran into white caps on Lake Agnes and stopped at a site and fished. Ryan caught a small Walleye off shore. After several hours of fishing the wind switched from the NE and we started out again. Made it off Agnes ok. We were all beat, portages took time. The last portage on Nina Moose River we ended up leaving in the dark with lightning off to the SE. I knew we could make Nina Moose Lake. We camped on the first open site, and watched the intense lighting display to the SE. Jenny thought she saw a funnel cloud when we were at the last Nina Moose River Portage. I could not sleep since I knew severe weather was in the area. I finally got the boys up and we pitched up the tent just in case the weather got bad. Younger kids slept in the tent. Fell asleep around 3:AM
We awoke to a cooler morning. The sun was out and had not stormed that night. I was kind of mad we pitched the tent, but you never know what the weather may bring in the BWCA. Since we were a day late, we were greeted by search and rescue at the mouth of the Moose River. My family had called to report us overdue. Was embarrassing, but I was relieved to see that if there was an emergency they would be there for people. The final portage took us 2 hours. Had a tough time getting everyone motivated including myself. We finally got packed up and left the parking lot at 3:PM. Ate at Pizza Hut in Ely and was home by 10:15PM. I had to work that night too! :(