BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
January 24 2020
Number of Permits per Day: 7
Elevation: 1230 feet
My son Remy and I, and my friend Keith and his son Charlie put our canoes into Lake one at 9:30 Monday morning after dropping off a car at the Snowbank Lake landing. Lake One can be tricky to navigate. On our way to Lake Two we turned East too early and ended up paddling about a mile out of our way into a dead-end bay before we realized our mistake. We blamed the fact that Lake One was split between Fisher Maps #10 and #4 for our error. If the entire lake had been visible at once on a single map, we would not have made the wrong turn. Once we got back on course we portaged the 30 rods into a pond and then portaged the 40 rods into Lake Two. The weather was nice, and there was a bit of a tail wind out of the West. We stopped for lunch on the shore of Lake Two. After lunch we canoed through the North end of Lake Three and into Lake Four. We stopped for the night at a campsite on the West shore of Lake Four, just North of the channel heading toward Hudson Lake. We had to battle swarms of mosquitoes as we set up the tents. We then had a nice refreshing swim. Because we had brought steaks along for the first night, we didn't go fishing.
On Tuesday morning we had a bacon and eggs breakfast then packed up camp and headed out in our canoes. As we canoed past our campsite, we realized that Remy & I had left our hammocks pitched between trees. We landed again and quickly packed them up. Once again we had beautiful weather. We paddled East and completed 3 short portages before entering Hudson Lake. The 105 rod portage into Lake Insula was exhausting! Lake Insula is a large gorgeous lake broken up by multiple islands and penninsulas. We had lunch at a campsite on a large island just East of Hudson Lake. It felt like we had a tail wind as we were heading East, and then as we turned North it seemed like the wind shifted and was at our backs once again. We navigated Lake Insula flawlessly and camped for the night on the island just West of Williamson Island. After setting up the tents and a refreshing swim, Remy & I got back into the canoe and tried to catch some fish. We had no luck! At 9PM that night, just as we were going to bed, a thunderstorm rolled through. That night I was awakened several times by the loud croaking of bullfrogs from the shallows around our island. What noisy neighbors!
By Wednesday morning the weather had cleared, but the wind was now coming from the Northwest, pretty much in our faces. We paddled to the North end of Lake Insula and tackled the largest portage of our trip. The 180 rod walk to Kiana Lake actually seemed easier than the 105 rod carry into Lake Insula. We headed onward into Thomas Lake where we really started feeling the headwind. We finally made it to the campsite just Northeast of the portage into Thomas Pond in time for lunch. After lunch we proceeded across Thomas Pond and into Thomas Creek after hiking across the famous Kekekabic Trail. We managed to easily run the rapids in Thomas Creek and avoid the 2 short portages. We camped for the night on Hatchet Lake at the northern campsite. It was cool and windy, so we didn't swim. There was lots of threatening weather going by to the North of us, but we stayed dry. After supper we canoed back to Thomas Creek to fish and look for moose. No luck on either count, but we did see a beaver swimmming.
The weather was nice again Thursday morning, but the wind was out of the West which was the direction we were heading. We portaged into Ima Lake and canoed across it. Before portaging into Jordan Lake, we watched a bald eagle sitting in a tree get harrassed repeatedly by a seagull. The narrow channel leading into Jordan Lake is quite beautiful. It is narrow like a river with big rock outcroppings. We paddled across Jordan, Cattyman, Adventure, and Jitterbug Lakes. We found the Eastern campsite on Ahsub Lake taken, so we camped at the Western campsite which had a great place for swimming in front of it. There was a very brave loon in front of the campsite who didn't seem to mind if we got close to it. We tried our luck at fishing, but only caught 1 smallmouth which was too small to eat. Between 5:00 and 7:30 that evening we saw a number of canoes heading across Ahsub Lake from Disappointment Lake to Jitterbug Lake. We weren't sure where they were planning to camp, but it was getting late.
On Friday we awoke again to good weather. We paddled the length of Disappointment Lake and portaged into to Parent Lake and then on to Snowbank Lake. It was July 4th, and as we entered Snowbank Lake the sounfd of firecrackers reminded us we weren't in the wilderness anaymore. After a brief splash war on our way across Snowbank, we made it to the landing and our car was still there. What a great trip!
Solo trip from Lake One through Snowbank
September 17, 2008
Snowbank Lake (H)
Number of Days:
Lake One, through to Lake Insula, in about 5 hours. Everything, going just swell. Located my campsite on Insula, set up camp had a good nights sleep. Caught a couple of Smallies, and let them go.
Had a little fire, rehydrated some chili, and went to bed.
Another uneventful day, caught a northern that I managed to take a picture of from the canoe. Paddled from Lake Insula, to Kiana , the on into Lake Thomas, where I set up camp again.
Built a nice fire early enough to set up and bake cornbread to go along with my spicy bean and potato dish.
Went to bed at about 8:30, after making sure the coals were totally out.
This was going to be a long day. I wanted to spend a couple of days on Disappointment, before heading home.
The day started off with a Thunderstorm, no sooner had I gotten on the Lake. Pulled ashore and waited it out.
Taking off, trolling my rapala as I paddled along, Caught a couple more smallies, no real size, let them back to grow some more.
Paddled through Thomas, through the pond, past Hatchet lake, and on into Ima. Across Ima, and through Cattyman, Adventure, Jitterbug, Ahsub, and finally on into Disappointment.
It was starting to get later than I was hoping for. Going solo, I packed too much stuff as usual. Having to triple portage, on quite a few, well Ok most of them.
Lo and behold, as I was paddling along, each and every campsite I came across was occupied.
A Thunderstorm was approaching from the North, and coming on fast. I headed for the last campsite on the Lake. Paddling as hard as I could. Only to find it occupied also.
Here I ran into 2 of the greatest guys. Captain Dan and his son Matt. Welcomed me ashore and shared their campsite with me for the night, as they were going to be leaving the next morning.
Lots of fun setting up my tent and tarp in a heavy rain, but I managed, and cooked my dinner under the tarp, and pretty much passed out from exhaustion.
Just a reminder to me to get my campsite earlier in the day, and not push so hard.
Stayed one more day, on Disappointment, dried out a lot of my gear, fished a little, Dan left me a couple of potatoes, garlic and oil. So dinner was fried potatoes, I got my dutch oven out and baked cheese biscuits. A great dinner the the last night.
Going home, Paddled to the Disappointment portage to Snowbank Lake. Sky was cloudy, but no rain, a little breezy. Once I got to Snowbank access, I would have a 5 mile walk back to my car.
Met some other nice folks at the portage, To my surprise upon heading back for my second trip, a nice lady, Laurie had picked up a couple of my items, and carried them across. The next trip I managed my small pack and canoe. My first double portage since Day 2.
The icing on the cake, when I reached Snowbank access, The three of them (Carl, Laurie and son John) gave me a ride to Lake One to retrieve my Jeep, and head back to Snowbank to pick up the canoe.
It was a wonderful time in the BWCA.