BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
March 30 2020
Number of Permits per Day: 6
Elevation: 1166 feet
On the Water- Monday July 20th-
On the water late considering how far we need to go today. Up the Horse river to the falls by 6pm. Started raining and NO campsites available. Mudrow-Alruss-Tin can Mike-Horse Lake-Horse River-Basswood. 13 miles by water. (not counting portages)
Tuesday July 21st-
Rain all night, all morning and all day. Went north by petroglyphs, table rock and the the Crocked Lake Narrows across Thursday bay to campsite. Basswood-Crooked Lake-Wednesday Bay-Thursday Bay. 11 miles in the rain.
Wednesday July 22nd-
Up early and calm winds to take advantage of, considering the big water we have to cross. Found beaver dam to lift over and did a portage from hell between Pandos lake and Chippewa Lake. VERY steep and slippery after rain. Many mud holes. Then the mile portage after Wagosh Lake to Gun Lake. Never saw another soul in a canoe or campsite the entire day! Thursday bay-Friday Bay-Pandos Lake-Chippewa Lake-Wagosh lake-Gun Lake. 11 miles by water.
Thursday July 23rd-
Finally had a dry night. got everything dry!!! A few portages today to Fourtown Lake campsite. Easy day by comparison. Gun Lake-Fairy Lake-Boot Lake-Fourtown Lake. 6 miles. Put the long miles at the first of the week for a buffer for contingencies!
Friday July 24th-
Last day. Stormed last night bad. A few portages today with one bad one between Fourtown Lake and Mudrow lake. To entry point by 1pm. Ready for a hot shower! 4 miles
45 miles by water
13 miles by portage (3 trips each)
58 miles total.
Mudro to Horse
June 20, 2007
Number of Days:
Day 0: Drive from Minneapolis to Ely:
This was our first trip. Stickman from Minneapolis arranged the trip…
We met at Stickman’s work on Thursday, loaded all our stuff in his minivan and headed north. We left around 1pm. It was good to be on the road. We felt somewhat less manly by taking the minivan but it sure was comfortable. There was plenty of space for everyone and their gear. Most of the group only knew Stickman. So we got acquainted on ride up.
We stopped for Mexican food and leaches in Cloquet and continued on.
We arrived at Jordan’s Outfitters around 8pm. This was a fully outfitted trip so we just had to worry about our clothes, fishing stuff, and accessories. We organized our stuff, watched the video, and got a trip preview by Doug Jordan. We settled into the bunkhouse and ate fresh, homemade salsa and chips. We eventually got to sleep.
Day 1: Start at Jordan’s Outfitters and end at Horse Lake camp site:
We woke around 7am and had a great pancake breakfast with Jordan's secret pancake recipe. Then, we piled into Jordan’s vans and headed to EP23.
We arrived at the EP and unloaded our stuff. As the Jordan van pulled away, we realized that we alone in the woods and the trip really was going to happen.
The portage to the entry was easy. We loaded the canoes and pushed off. The paddle down the river was exactly what I expected of the BW: The water was cool, the air was fresh, and the paddling was easy. When the creek opened into Mudro, the feeling continued.
We paddled lazily across Mudro. We found the portage and made the portage to Sandpit Lake. The portage was a tough one to be our first one. It was short but included a pretty good climb and had several ankle-turning rocks.
Once in Sandpit, we decided to fish a bit. Stickman caught the first fish. He doesn’t fish and said something about blind squirrels and acorns. It turned out to be the only fish he caught during the entire trip.
We fished Sandpit for about an hour. We caught several nice smallmouth and largemouth bass. The most successful rig was leaches under slip bobbers.
We started to get concerned about finding a camp site on Horse so we wrapped things up and found the portage. This portage was long but wide with a boardwalk at Tin Can Mike. We paddled quickly across Tin Can Mike, found the next portage, and made our way to Horse.
The first few sites on Horse were full and we were starting to get concerned. We made our way across the lake. We were hoping the island site on the north end of Horse. We assumed it would be full too. We kept checking with binoculars and could not see any signs of tents. So we paddled on. We made it to the camp site and found it vacant. We were pretty excited since it seemed to be a perfect site: away from crowds, open with a nice breeze to control bugs, a nice rock “beach”, several good tent sites, etc.
We settled in. We set up camp, pumped water, fished a bit, and relaxed. It was great to be in the woods….
We had a nice swim off our rock beach and put on dry clothes. The water was perfect: clear and not to warm, not too cold.
We had steak for dinner that night. They were cooked right on the grate and tasted great.
After a few Maker’s Marks and BW water, we called it a night…
We woke fairly early. Breakfast was Jordan’s pancakes, bacon, and coffee. It all tasted great.
Today was dedicated to fishing. We started exploring around camp and caught a few fish. We went back to camp and had a quick lunch.
Then, we worked our way all around Horse. We caught a few fish but nothing too exciting. After fishing the south end, we decided to troll back to camp. We already had enough fish for dinner.
As we were trolling north, we cut between a small island and the west shore. I snagged a log with my trolling rapalla. The lure would not move at all; the drag just screamed as the canoe slowed down. Eventually, the “log” started to fight. As it pulled, I quickly realized that it was the biggest fish I had ever fought. After about 15 minutes, we saw a very large pike near the boat. I panicked and grabbed the pike by eyes and hoisted it into the boat. It was huge. It turned out to be about 39 inches. We tried to revive the fish but he just kept floating. So we released a few other fish from the stringer that we still very alive and decided to keep the pike for dinner. I felt bad about killing such a nice, big fish but at least it wasn’t going to waste.
We had another nice swim off our rock beach and put on dry clothes. It felt good to wash of some of the bug spray and be sorta clean. The water was perfect again.
We had a massive fish fry this night. Everyone had their fill and then some.
After cleaning up camp, we relaxed around the fire. We finished the Maker’s mark, 151 rum, and a few cigars.
Eventually, we called it a night.
Day 3: Horse Lake camp site and back to Jordan’s and then to Minneapolis:
We had breakfast of dehydrated western omelet. We were warned that the omelet might not be good. So we all had low expectations. It turned out to be quite good.
We took down camp, packed up, cleaned up, took a few pictures, and headed home.
The paddle down horse was a little harder than earlier. The wind was against us and the canoes were loaded again.
The portages to Fourtown were interesting. Two were mild rapids. We pushed the canoes up the rapids. The rocks were quite slippery and our efforts would have been a contender on America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Once in Fourtown, we decided to fish and explore a bit. We didn’t catch anything.
We stopped on a nice rock point and had summer sausage and cheese sandwiches. They tasted especially good…
The portages from Fourtown to Mudro were challenging. There were a few other groups making the trek so that added a bit to the difficulty. But the hills and distances would have made the portages challenging anyway.
We arrived at Mudro and had some time before Jordan’s was expected to pick us up. We relaxed and fished a bit. There was large bald eagle that watched us.
Eventually, we had to call it quits and make the paddle back up the creek to the entry point.
Jordan’s arrived right on time and brought cold sodas in their coolers. The gear was quickly loaded and we were back on the road.
There was some miscommunication about the lodging that night. So we took a shower at Jordan’s and started the drive back to Minneapolis.
We stopped in Cloquet for a beer and burgers. They tasted great.
We arrived at Stickman’s house around 9pm.
It was a great trip. The goal was to learn a bit about the Boundary Waters and relax. Those goals were certainly accomplished.
The group was good. We had 6 guys who didn’t really know each other. The group gelled well and there were no issues.