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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

May 26 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

Kawishiwa River Fishing Opener 2017

by Trapper7
Trip Report

Entry Date: May 12, 2017
Entry Point: North Kawishiwi River
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
When you have a cabin on Garden Lake that is about a 40 minute paddle from the BWCA, how can you not go on a camping trip for fishing opener?

Day 1 of 4

Friday, May 12, 2017

What an advantage it is living on a lake that is only a 40 minute paddle to get into the Kawishiwa River. I get to lay out all my gear in the cabin the day prior to entry, which allows me to make any last minute changes. Examples; I downsized my tackle box for this 4 day trip. The weather called for no rain so I ditched the rain gear. There was only my buddy Dewey and I going, so there was no need for the 6L water bag. Temperatures looked good so I left out a couple articles of clothing. Once the pack was "fine tuned", I organized everything in the proper packs, and got things tied down into the canoe. I have always used little bungees and rope for tying misc items but have read a lot of reviews from the members about these BDB things. I thought I would give them a try. I was immediately sold on them! If you are reading this and do not have any BDB's, you need to get some. We pushed off at about 9:00 am. We were able to paddle past the first portage that is NW of Clear Lake, but the current near the second portage, more to the east, was too strong and we had to portage. We decided to double portage because we were using my old alumacraft canoe which weighs 84 pounds. We expected about a 5 hour trip to get to our destination at the south point of the Kawishiwa triangle. We made it in 3 hrs 15 minutes to the Hilton. I had camped here previously, many years ago. Once with my dad and brother, and once with 3 high school friends. Both of those trips were in the mid 1990's. The site was just how I remembered it. Personally, I think it is a little overrated. I like that it sits right along the narrows which provides a soothing sound of running water at night, but it does get quite a bit of traffic past it. We got camp set, and paddled around the area scoping out some potential fishing spots for the weekend. After scouting was done, we came back to cook up our ribeye steaks and mashed potatoes. I felt a sense of guilt for the rest of society as I bit into my medium rare, campfire cooked, ribeye steak, while watching the sun set over the calm waters. Most people will never get to experience this.


Day 2 of 4

Saturday, May 13, 2017 I slept great in my Bear Butt hammock. I didn't wake up until the birds sounded. We got up fairly early to make some oatmeal and coffee before we headed out for some morning fishing. Water temps were in the mid to upper 50's. The weather was beautiful yesterday, today, and the forecast for tomorrow was the same. Monday there was some expected rain coming, but we would be heading out Monday morning anyway so that didn't really matter to us. We caught a handful of walleyes in the morning and had a shore lunch back at camp, followed by a nap. We headed back out for the evening and caught some more walleyes for supper. We fished shallow (4ft-6ft) in the current and also drifted into some deeper (18ft-20ft) areas. We didn't seem to do better in one area versus the other. I was surprised that we caught as many as we did in the deeper areas.


Day 3 of 4

Sunday, May 14, 2017 We slept in a little bit today and lounged around camp. There was a little bit of wind this morning which made it more difficult to fish once we headed out. I brought a wind sock with but the wind direction and speed wasn't cooperating with the breaks we were trying to fish so we just put it away. I have never used a wind sock before. I am hoping I will have a better experience next time. My buddy Luke and his step son were coming through the area today so we were kind of staying close to camp as to not miss them. They met up with us a little after noon and decided to camp with us for a night. We set out for some more evening fishing and caught plenty for a meal again. It is tough to beat fresh walleye battered in Andy's Red fried in a little squeeze Parkay.


Day 4 of 4

Monday, May 15, 2017 The dreaded departure day. The only good thing about leaving is that a much needed shower/sauna was going to take place today. Hardly a justifiable excuse to be paddling out, but it is the best I can come up with. The mood as we paddled out is hard to describe. It was quiet. Somber. Just trying to soak it all in as best as we could because who knows when the next trip will come. As we neared the exit point, we could hear the motor boats. Then we saw them. Then the wakes from them made us adjust our paddling. Then we heard the backing up beeps of construction equipment. Then we heard the jack hammering of some road construction. Then I turned my phone on to all the missed phone calls, voicemails, text messages, emails........... Welcome back to civilization. I can't wait until my next bwca trip.


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