BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
January 28 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!
June 05, 2009
Number of Days:
New member here. Been going up to the BWCA regularly for the past 4 years now. Typically go into Lake 1. I have family that lives about 70 miles from Ely so we usually drop off my 3 yo son with them on the way up (I would LOVE to bring him along but the wife is worried he's too young still). Thought I could start off by posting a TR of our last trip to Lake 3 which was on 6/5-6/8.
We went with 3 - myself, the wife, and a coworker who comes with us from time to time. Rented a MN III from Kawishiwi River Outfitters.
Weather going in was bad (for some, good for others...). Lots of wind, showers off and on, etc. BUT - the wind was at our backs. Folks coming out with whom we chatted at portages were NOT happy about the winds (15-20 mph) in their faces.
Other than the weather, uneventful paddle in. We were shooting for Lake 3 and made our way there slow and leisurely. Took about 3 hours.
We scoped the first 4 sites on the west side of Lake 3, all occupied. So we made our way East to check out the North shore. Saw an empty site but didn't like it. Too exposed to the wind and the tent spots weren't all that great. Picked a different site in a little bay that had good wind protection to the North and West. Had the bay to ourselves (save the loons) - Perfect!
By the time we got to camp, the rain seemed to be pretty much over. Yay! I hate making camp in the rain.
My wife and coworker shared an old Kelty tent I have. I use an REI quarter dome solo tent. The solo tent is fine, except with the fly on and everything closed it gets a ton of condensation during the night.
Since we were there for only 3 nights, we just base camped it. My thing that I like to do in the woods is nothing anyway. That's my thing. I might fish a little here and there, scout around camp some, but that's it. I don't usually like to do day trips or whatever. I just like to sit about and be. So that's pretty much what we did.
Same day 2... same day 3... nothing. Ahhh... love it. Not a care in the world.
Weather was on the cool side - mid 60's during the day, low 40s at night. But no rain while we were there, little wind, and just cool enough to keep the bugs at bay. I would say the weather was just about perfect for me.
On day 2, I was relaxing in the hammock (use a cheap parachute type) and was a little cold. So I got my sleeping bag out of the tent and lounged in the bag in the hammock. It was so comfortable that I decided to give hammock sleeping a try that night. Fantastic! I don't think I'll ever sleep on the ground again. Just need to get me a bug net type dealie and some sort of tarp set-up. Didn't need either for this trip, but if I'm going hammock style in the future...
Wildlife-wise, all we saw were all the different birds. There was one big pine right by the fire grate that housed some sort of wood-pecking bird. But we never got a good look at it - definitely wasn't a downy, but the pair were really small. There was also a TON of owl activity at night. Never heard so many owl hoots in my life. They seemed to be all over the place. The site was near a marshy area, so lots and lots of peeper frogs at night. I love hearing the sound of those little guys at night. Soooo soothing... peep peep peep.
Also saw plenty of water-fowl. Loons, ducks, etc. I believe we even witnessed the pair in our bay mating one morning (bow chicka bow-WOW). The 14 yo in me restisted taking pictures of the loving couple...
And that's really about it. Nothing eventful to report. Just a nice, relaxing 3 nighter that went off without a hitch. And we timed it perfect too. Going back out again, the forecast was for rain all day. We got an early start and beat the rain. After we got back to the lodge, just as we were putting the last bags into the car, the very first raindrops started to hit the windshield. Ha! Take that Ma Nature!
I have another trip planned with the guys in September - Gunflint side this time - Lizz Lake. Will report then.