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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

June 20 2024

Entry Point 24 - Fall Lake

Fall Lake entry point allows overnight paddle or motor (25 HP max). This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 7 miles. "Access is a boat landing at Fall Lake. Several trip options to Newton, Basswood, & Mud Lakes with additionalportages." This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 14
Elevation: 1324 feet
Latitude: 47.9527
Longitude: -91.7213
"This trip will be taking off from Fall Lake up through Newton Falls portage onto Pipestone Bay campsites. 3 day, 2 night trip into the wilderness.

Wolves & Weather

by Kendis
Trip Report

Entry Date: September 10, 2022
Entry Point: Moose Lake
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
The annual trip my wife and I take to the BWCA. This year we explored part of the central BWCA over the course of a week.

Day 1 of 7

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Spent Friday night and left our car at Williams and Hall on the south end of Moose Lake.

We were towed to the portage between Moose and Splash with the plan to get to Ima today. We arrived at the portage around 7:45am. I tripped in the shallow water, landed on a bunch of rocks, cut my finger, and got water inside my waterproof boots. Not a great start to the day.

The portages, especially into and out of Ashigan, were more difficult than we anticipated and we only made it to Jordan instead of Ima. USFS posted a forest fire warning at the Ashigan portages about a fire reported on the north island in Ashigan. We didn't see any fire but could smell the burnt foilage.

We camped at campsite 1203 on the north end of Jordan. This is a sprawling campsite suited to larger groups. We rolled in around 3:00, set up camp, lounged around, and went to bed at sunset (around 7:30pm).

Weather was partly cloudy, low west wind, no rain.

~Moose Lake, Splash Lake, Ensign Lake, Ashigan Lake, Gibson Lake, Cattyman Lake, Jordan Lake


Day 2 of 7

Sunday, September 11, 2022

We decided to spend a second day at our Jordan campsite. Weather was partly cloudy, low wind, no rain. At 3:00pm we heard some wolves howling at each other. At 6:45pm we heard many more howling, and much closer to camp. At 7:00pm we heard at least one come into camp, making low wimpering noises sounding very close. My wife was scared and I got the wolves to leave with several loud yells.

The 3:00pm and 6:45pm sounds were all from the northwest. We speculated the wolves lived in the Spider Lake PMA. The next morning we found tracks from at least two different sized wolves on the sand beach at the campsite landing.

We keep an immaculate camp and I seriously doubt smelling food was the reason for the wolves' visit. Whatever the reason, very neat and something we had hoped for but never expected would actually happen.

~Jordan Lake


Day 3 of 7

Monday, September 12, 2022

We were up at sunrise (6:30am) and on the water an hour later. Our goal was to get to Kekekabic today. We wasted about half an hour trying to find the Ima -> Thomas portage. The west end of this portage is badly marked on Fisher maps and is shown as farther south than it actually is. The west end of the portage is a wide, steep almost staircase that climbs up to Thomas. My wife described it as something out of Lord of the Rings. Here we had our first of multiple meetings with the same two-man USFS ranger crew.

The portages along the Hatchet River (creek?) were short but the loading/unloading times added up and after some navigational difficulties finding the channel between Thomas and Fraser we stopped around 2:00pm at campsite 1395 on a peninsula on the west end of Fraser. Set up camp, made dinner, and fell asleep not long after sunset. Campsite was beautiful and suited to a large group.

Weather was clear, low west wind, no rain.

~Jordan Lake~Jordan Lake, Ima Lake, Hatchet Lake, Thomas Lake, Fraser Lake


Day 4 of 7

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Our goal today was to get to Kekekabic. Portages were alright, and our second encounter with the USFS rangers was at the Strup -> Kekekabic portage after seeing them breaking camp at a bluff campsite on Wisini.

We got to Kekekabic around 1:00pm and started looking for a site. An east wind picked up and made paddling a slog as we went east down the length of the lake looking for a campsite. Every site was taken by basecampers until we reached the far eastern end of the lake at campsite 1425. Campsite was low quality and we had to pitch the tent on a slope.

All of the basecampers appeared to be fishbros in groups of 4+ and their presence created a campsite desert on Kekekabic.

~Fraser Lake, Gerund Lake, Ahmakose Lake, Wisini Lake, Strup Lake, Kekekabic Lake


Day 5 of 7

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The goal today was to paddle the length of SAK and camp somewhere on Knife between SAK and Big Knife Portage.

We made it through the Kekekabic Ponds and met the USFS rangers for the final time on the portage between Eddy and SAK. A 10-15 mph east wind gave us a nice boost along SAK and we got to the west end in an hour and a half. Ended up camping at campsite 1461, on the south side of a peninsula about halfway between SAK and Robbins Island. Campsite was sprawling but not many good spots for a tent.

Weather was partly cloudy during the day, moderate east wind, no rain. Coldest morning and evening yet. Overnight rain.

~Kekekabic Lake, Kekekabic Ponds, Eddy Lake, South Arm Knife Lake, Knife Lake


Day 6 of 7

Thursday, September 15, 2022

We planned to get to Sucker or Newfound today so that we had a short travel day tomorrow.

We met and essentially travelled with two men in their maybe mid-50s and the father of one of the men for most of the day as we overlapped on portages between Knife to Birch. We helped one of them convince the other two that Green Bay had beaten the Vikings. The ruse lasted until the end of the day when we passed them at their campsite. We also met a nice father and adult son pair on the portages.

Rain started around 8:00am and was nonstop except for a handful of 10-30 minute breaks for the next two days. We were soaked and very glad to set up the tarp at campsite 1278, the 5th campsite west of the east end of Birch. Managed to set up the tent during one of the rare breaks in the rain. Campsite was decent but given the weather most sites would have seemed that way.

Weather was cloudy, rainy, low wind to calm. Overnight was the coldest of the trip. Rain beginning in the late afternoon around 3:00pm was heavy and nonstop until we paddled up to our outfitter the next day at noon-ish. Our DD Hammocks 3mx4m tarp was a champ at keeping us and our equipment dry for over 18 hours of constant rain.

~Knife Lake, Seed Lake, Melon Lake, Carp Lake, Birch Lake


Day 7 of 7

Friday, September 16, 2022

Broke camp in heavy rain and were on the water by 8:00-ish after deciding not to wait to see if conditions would improve. Paddled about 4 hours to Williams and Hall in unending rain. After a nice shower we were on our way to Ely for a late lunch and then to Duluth where we spent the night before driving home to the Chicago area on Saturday.

I would like to extend a very special finger to the towboat and motorboat pilots who buzzed us on Newfound and Moose. We managed not to capsize or get pushed onto the shore after five went by in close succession multiple times.

Overall a great trip and we look forward to next year.

~Birch Lake, Sucker Lake, Newfound Lake, Moose Lake


Lakes Traveled:   Birch Lake, Sucker Lake, Newfound Lake, Moose Lake,

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