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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

June 21 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; Getting off the beaten path.

by paddlefamily
Trip Report

Entry Date: May 20, 2011
Entry Point: Lake One
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 4

Trip Introduction:
I try to plan an all-women trip every other year. So myself, and four friends decided on a loop beginning at Lake One. Two have been to the BW many times, two were newbies. With a forecast of rain and occasional thunderstorms, we set off down the north arm of Lake One. On a beautiful, 60 degree, sunny day.

Day 1 of 4

Friday, May 20, 2011

Deciding to take the longer way in for variety, we headed toward three short portages that take you onto the main body of Lake One. It was the maiden voyage of our new, Wenonah Boundary Waters. Loved paddling her, she was light and stable. [paragraph break] Paddling was uneventful and portages easy. The water being much higher caused the rapids at the second portage to come in with quite a current that had to be crossed, directly in front of our landing. With some trepidation, we crossed the current. No dumping, but not very delicate. We were happy to get beyond those. Spotted morel mushrooms near landing. Left them for the next person to discover. [paragraph break] Continued through Lakes Two and Three. Wind was strong from the S/SE. Realized later in calmer areas how much work we were doing to stay straight. Tucked back in to the bays of Lake Three. Gorgeous area with some prime campsites. All were occupied. Jumped from Horseshoe, Brewis and Harbor with the final destination being N Wilder Lake. Being that most campsites were occupied the entire trip, we were a little concerned about finding a site. [paragraph break] Found a wonderful, empty campsite at about 3pm on North Wilder. Another small group came in a short while after us and took the other. After the warmth of the day, we dumped our stinky bodies in the refreshing lake. Amazing how mild the water temps felt. Cool, but not freezing. Site had nice tree cover and so we set up the tarp, knowing we might be spending some time there in the "living room" watching rain. [paragraph break] Ate beans and rice with homemade smoked chicken. Topped everything with cilantro and cheese. Nothing like eating, sitting on a camp chair, appreciating the hard work and fulfilling day. Tossed in my fishing line. Bites, but no fish. Curious painted turtle followed me along the bank. Maybe he wanted my lure?


Day 2 of 4

Saturday, May 21, 2011 Day two was a lay-over day. It rained briefly during the night and again during the day. After a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, salsa and cheese we headed south to check out the creek that flows into S Wilder Lake. Being that there was a portage that follows the creek, we figured it would become impassible at some point. [paragraph break] The creek was worth the paddle. Scenic and winding, it was so peaceful. We encountered on beaver dam-haul over and one large lodge. Seeing the beaver the evening before confirms that this is an active site. We paddled until the creek becomes rocky and impassible with willow. [paragraph break] Setting the canoes to the side on a grassy bank, we headed down a trail that bisects the Pow Wow Trail. We followed the Pow Wow for about a mile until we came upon a backpacking campsite. The trail follows the ridge with interesting views. We hung out at the sight, reading and fishing. After a lunch of smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese and crackers, the western sky looked like it was set to rain. [paragraph break] We headed back through the woods and to our canoes. At camp we heated up some hot cocoa and butter schnapps. Later we made onion rings. Yum! Some napped, others sat under the tarp enjoying the occasional rain shower and appreciating the quiet.


Day 3 of 4

Sunday, May 22, 2011 Today we woke up to gray skies again and intermittent rain. We were able to take down our gear dry. After a breakfast of homemade granola, we set off towards the short portage that takes us into the creek towards Hudson Lake. [paragraph break] North Wilder was a very pretty lake to camp on. Nice back bays, small islands and quiet. [paragraph break] The portage from N Wilder to the creek was muddy, and we saw signs of moose. But no moose. [paragraph break] The paddle along the wide, easy creek is lined with lowland bush and flowers. The banks are studded with spruce. Random boulders complement and provide variety. This was one of our favorite paddling sections. [paragraph break] The creek outlets at Hudson. The campsites were full in this area, but they look nice. [paragraph break] We headed up the north arm of Hudson Lake. This is another narrow, interesting section. You see more large white and red pine here with cedar along the banks. The rain created a wonderful musty wood mixed with cedar small. Sections of rock protruding from the water and islands throughout. The short, easy 10 rod portage to Fire lake brings you to a lovely entry. Fire lake looks like it might be nice to camp on. Small and narrow. [paragraph break] The next two portages that bypass small rapids and rock are easy. Sheer granite curtains both sides at one portage. [paragraph break] We followed this course into Lake Four which nearly blends into Bridge Lake. During our trip the birds were actively seeking makes and we were treated to a chorus of calls. Many loons were also spotted. [paragraph break] We lunched at a very nice site on Bridge. If we didn't need to go further, we would have stayed here. Landing is so, so, but area is cushioned with pine needles and mature trees landscape the area beautifully. Tent pads are nice as well. [paragraph break] After a savory lunch of tuna salad rolled into tortilla shells, we hit the longest portages of our trip. At 170 rods it isn't too bad. Plenty of ups and downs with some of those ups being a quick scramble up slippery boulders. We encountered a have dozen blow downs, one that was massive and took three of us to get each canoe over. Spring has been blustery! [paragraph break] We took a breather at Rifle lake, watched bluegills watching us. Fished again, then headed to grab a campsite on Lake Two, our last night. [paragraph break] Lake Two's sites were mostly occupied (no surprise), but we managed to get a island site that was ok. Landing is very nice, being flat. Fire pit area is pretty exposed with no trees for tarps. We set up our tarp in a grove of trees off to the side. Overall site is heavily used and wood very scarce. [paragraph break] After a dinner of Harvest Pasta, we watched the resident beaver and tried our luck at climbing some rocks at the tip of the bay. More funny than successful. We were treated to a classic (and our only) BW sunset. After days of gray, it was almost surprising to see the flush of blue the lakes took on and the golds and green that make this area so wonderful.


Day 4 of 4

Monday, May 23, 2011

Left the campsite after a breakfast of oatmeal topped with almonds and dried blueberries. Short day of paddling, around 4 miles. We saw more people today, but we were all staggered enough so that no one had to wait at the portages. Day was gray and it rained on an off. Somehow the weather is never really a bother when your in a place you love. We took the eastern arm out of Lake One. Maybe it's me but its always a little jarring coming back into civilization. Warm showers felt amazing and we stopped at the Steakhouse for burgers and fish sandwiches. I ate the fish there that I never caught. [paragraph break] Another great trip with good friends and beautiful wilderness. It just didn't last long enough. And my friends who had not been to this area before loved it and look forward to going again.


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