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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

March 02 2024

Entry Point 30 - Lake One

Lake One entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 21 miles. Access is a canoe landing at Lake One.

Number of Permits per Day: 13
Elevation: 1230 feet
Latitude: 47.9391
Longitude: -91.4792
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!

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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