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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

July 19 2024

Entry Point 27 - Snowbank Lake

Snowbank 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 24 miles. Access is a boat landing or canoe launch at Snowbank Lake. Many trip options for paddlers. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 8
Elevation: 1191 feet
Latitude: 47.9716
Longitude: -91.4326
Snowbank Lake - 27

Lake One Loop through Wilder, Rock Island, Turtle and many more

Trip Report

Entry Date: June 06, 2009
Entry Point: Lake One
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
This trip was taken by myself and my friend. We were both 18 at the time and very eager to explore the BWCAW again. Taken the day after the graduation, we wanted to enjoy our freedom and celebrate the last summer before we went to college. We tried to incorporate some easy, well-known parts, along with rougher and less maintained parts.

Day 1 of 7

Saturday, June 06, 2009

This was the day we drove up to the BWCAW from our houses in the suburbs of Chicago. The day before this we had graduated, attended a senior party that lasted till 4 A.M. this day, slept for a few hours and then left. We got on the road at noon and got to Jordan's Outfitters around 9:00 P.M. As a side note, we were both pleased with the service we received here before and after the trip. We went into Ely for some DQ, talked about how excited we were for our trip, and went to bed.   


Day 2 of 7

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Today was our first day on the water. We left the bunkhouse at about 5:15 a.m. and headed for the Lake One entry point. We stopped for breakfast pizza on the way at a gas station. After putting in, we went from Lake One to Lake Two and then to Rifle Lake. A relatively easy day, we got to camp by lunch time and napped all day. The campsite on Rifle is one I've stayed at before and like a lot. There is plenty of space, nice boat landings, and great scenery here.  


Lakes Traveled:   Rifle Lake, Bridge Lake, Four, Lake, Hudson Lake, North Wilder Lake,

Day 3 of 7

Monday, June 08, 2009

Today was probably the worst day weather wise but we still found ways to enjoy the day. I started off the day by making a terrible batch of pancakes but we still ate them. After that we had a pretty long portage into Bridge. It started drizzling while we worked a way through Lake Four and Bridge Lake. When we finally got on the creek heading south into North Wilder we were pretty drenched and rain had somehow soaked through Mike's rain jacket so he was getting pretty cold. After paddling some beautiful country we got to our campsite on North Wilder where we called it quits for the day. We rushed to set up camp in this rain, purify some water, and salvage some dry wood for later. Mike was getting really cold so I let him warm up in the tent while I hung up a tarp and set up a clothes line under it to start drying our soaked clothes. Not the best day of the trip but still fun.   


Day 4 of 7

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 Today was our big push day. Our clothes were still damp in the morning and it was still cloudy and drizzling. Our spirits were getting a little low, but not to bad. We made our way back to Lake Three via Harbor, Brewis, and Horseshoe. After navigating Lake Three we made our way to the west end or Lake Two. After getting lunch at a mosquito infested campsite we took the unmaintained portage into Rock Island. It was tough with an aluminum canoe, but we are both young and in great shape so it was manageable. Rock Island is one of the most beautiful lakes I've seen. It just feels so pristine and untouched. I feel the same way about Judd Lake, the small lake in between Rock Island and Clear Water. The portage to Judd is a bit longer than the portage to Rock Island and has more hills and blowdown. The portage into Clearwater is the longest at around 220 rds but has the least amount of blowdown. However, there are a few sports when you have tiny creeks flowing through the portage trail. After we finished we got onto another one of my favorite lakes, Clearwater. Although somewhat affected by recent fires, it is still beautiful and actually does have pretty clear water. We decided to go all the way into Turtle and we took the campsite by the portage into Bald Eagle. This is by far, one of the best days of the trip. We estimated our mileage at about 15 or 16 miles.  


Day 5 of 7

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 Today was more or less a recovery day. We only did about 7 miles through pretty easy terrain. We got asked pretty often if we caught any fish. We saw a lot more people today. They all looked pretty sad when we said no; until we told them we hadn't tried either. A long nap left us scrambling in the dark.


Day 6 of 7

Thursday, June 11, 2009 Today we paddled pretty low mileage again. We went from Clear up to the Kawishiwi River and met some annoying boy scout troops along the way. We camped next to some rapids and set up camp pretty early. We were ahead of schedule so we decided to wake up early the next day and paddle out so we could attend some graduation parties. Overall, another good day enjoying the BW and enjoying nature.


Day 7 of 7

Friday, June 12, 2009 We woke up at 5 am to get a head start on the day. It was still a little dark when we woke up and very foggy. We packed up and headed back the way we came to the Lake One entry point. We took a great picture along the way. All in all, Mike and I had a great time on the trip. I hope that next summer after our first year at college we can still get together and maybe bring some more people with us to the Boundary Waters. Here is the parting photo.


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