BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
August 06 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.
SO's first trip to the BW
June 28, 2020
Number of Days:
Have you ever noticed that some people don't get the hours, days and months of prep work that goes into the trip? I've spent months, literally months, getting ready for this trip. It started at 2 people, went to 3,4 5 and then 7, back to 4, then to 3 and finished at 4 or us. Since I do the planning and getting ready, it didn't matter to everyone else that its hard to plan when the numbers keep changing.
So on Sunday the 28th, we pull into Mudro. We find that the creek is so low that we end up portaging 1/3 of a mile down the creek to find enough water to float the canoe with gear in it. Finally get loaded and off we go.
The creek is very low, as I said above, so there were several pull throughs just to get to Mudro Lake. Once on the lake, it was easy going, or so we thought. That portage from Mudro to Sandpit is the devil. I hate that portage and what a portage for your first in the BW. The SO didn't think it was too much fun and probably started to reconsider her decision.
Once over the portge, we went on to Tin Can Mike, although we had considered going to Jackfish bay and taking the big water to the falls. We eventually stopped at the first campsite on the left in Horse to hve lunch, PB&J wraps.
Down the Horse River we go. I've never seen the water levels so low. Not only did we have the 3 portages, but we had 5 pull throughs because the water was so low. It was a long exhausting trip down the river.
When we finally made the end of the river, we set up camp on the campsite to the right as you come into the lake. Great breeze and a really nice site. We decided to set the tent up on the point and not back in the trees, as we needed the breeze with the temps in the mid 80's.
We woke up to a few clouds this morning. We hurried and ate breakfast of oatmeal and coffee before heading to Wheelbarrow Falls to do some fishing. We spent several hours fishing and caught 8 smallmouth and a pike, but nothing really worth bragging about.
In the afternoon, the SO wanted to go fish LBW Falls. It was hot and the fish were not biting, but it was so relaxing just sitting there. We grabbed a big pile of driftwood for the fire later that night.
Dinner was jambalaya and sausage, turned out pretty good but some fish in it would have been better.
After dinner we headed back to Wheelbarrow Falls for more fishing, no luck though.
We broke camp and headed to Crooked. Even though I had been this way before, I learned something on this trip. I really liked the MacKenzie map because our entire route is on it, I suck at navigating by them. I need the bright colors I guess. Good thing that I brought my fisher maps, cut into smaller pieces.
After a short stop at Table Rock, we headed to Friday Bay on Crooked. Had a couple of nice rains that kept us cool on the way.
We stayed on the island at the North end of Friday Bay. I thought it was a great spot, as it was 15* cooler in the shade than it was out by the fire pit. The flies were annoying though.
After setting up the tent and getting some things in order, the SO decided it was time to fish. Yes it was the middle of the day, but she wanted to fish. She started catching smallies from the shore. Next thing you know, everyone is fishing next to her nd she's the only one catching anything.
Early in the morning we went out to fish some different spots, not much luck. Decided to take them to see the old truck at the campsite on the Canada side.
Wind really came up and made getting back to camp a little more difficult than I would have liked. The rest of the day was really just sitting around watching the wind blow.
Dinner was yellow rice and a packaged mexican pulled pork, it too was really good.
So I about had a mutiny on my hands this morning. I get nervous on big lakes and wanted to get everyone moving before the wind kicked up. Crooked was like glass, so I wanted to go. I packed up camp and literally took coffee cups out of people's hands to get them packed. Probably wasn't a smart move on my part.
We headed south at about 7:30 and at 10:20 we had finished the 328 rod portage from Wagosh to Gun. That first portage from Friday to Papoose creek is a nasty one. There's enough Mosquitos for carry you and your pack away. Then that portage from Wagosh to Gun.... Some have said that it isn't too bad, pretty easy actually. I don't want to see what they consider hard. I'm 52 and in pretty good shape and it flat our kicked my butt.
We stopped for a swim and lunch at a campsite on Gun. The water was the clearest I saw the entire trip. The flies were plentiful though.
We passed through Gun to Fairy with ease, paddled through Fairy to the portage. The SO carried the canoe by herself across the 15 rod portage. Really proud of her and it made her really feel like she was contributing.
We ended up on the second to last campsite on Boot. It's an ok site, nothing great. The flies were terrible and we had a really brave little squirrel there. Didn't matter to him if you were getting something to eat or not, he'd walk right up to the pack for lunch himself.
We did a little fishing, but it was so hot that nothing was biting.
As soon as we woke up it was hot. The SO and her son went fishing for about 4 hours with nothing to show for it. My son and I sat around camp and played cards. It was a lazy day, a hot lazy day.
Dinner was Red beans and rice with the last of the pork.
So after coffee and oatmeal, we are ready to pack up and head out. the portage to Fourtown wasn't bad at all. You can't say that about the last 3 portages and the take out. With the water levels being so low, all of the portages are longer and rougher. We finally make it through and paddle back to the creek. The water was even lower so I finally just grabbed the rope and pulled us up the creek.
It was a successful trip. Fishing was decent for the first part. The SO never caught a pike, only smallies.
After dropping off the canoes at the outfitter and a quick shower we head for home. About 15 miles outside of Ely, the SO starts asking questions about canoes. I look over and she's on Facebook Marketplace looking for a canoe for us. She's also decided that we need to upgrade our sleeping mats and will definitely need a fish finder for the canoe.
I'm happy and a little scared right now. I may have created a monster.