Boundary Waters Trip Reports, Blog, BWCA, BWCAW, Quetico Park

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

July 24 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!

Little Gabbro Fishing Loop

by Lee
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 22, 2005
Entry Point: Little Gabbro Lake
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
This was my brother (denimdemon) and my first trip to the BWCA. We weren't exactly sure what to expect, but knew it would be something special. Since we didn't know when we could return, we decided to see as much as possible while fishing as much as possible for the time we had.

Day 1 of 5


Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Unfortunately, we get a late start due to travel arrangements. My brother arrives in Minneapolis/St.Paul airport at 0415 after an all-nighter. We compare gear, toss out duplicates and head out to Ely. The folks at Voyager North are very knowledgeable and point out good fishing spots. We pick up our canoe and head out to Little Gabbro entry. The weather is beautiful and our first(195 rod) of eight portages goes without a hitch.
We catch a few Northern while trolling silver/black rapalas through Little Gabbro and Gabbro. Like an idiot, I try to remove a treble hook bare-handed and get a hook buried deep in my right index finger. A few tylenol and some slicing and dicing get it out and we're on our way. We make camp in Bald Eagle and feast on steak fajitas and enjoy a wonderful sunset. Tequila for dessert.

 



Day 2 of 5


Thursday, June 23, 2005
We make a breakfast of potatoes (roasted the night before) and eggs, before heading out to Turtle Lake. The portage is fairly rigorous, especially the beginning....uphill and rocky. The water in Turtle is shallow, fairly murky and my water filter gets clogged very quickly with muck. Fortunately the Northern fishing is good. We don't catch a lot of fish, but those that are caught are decent size. The campsite on the island is taken, so we opt for the next closest. That night, the wind picks up. We move our tent for fear of getting blown off the rock. But the weather is warm and the wind is a welcome break from the heat. We enjoy a bug-free night and chow down on Northern Pike and penne with a creamy tomatoe sauce. The vodka and crystal light hits the spot as well.

 



Day 3 of 5


Friday, June 24, 2005
Wake up to pancakes with peanut butter and jelly. This becomes our breakfast of choice. We break camp, catch a few northerns and watch three hawks searching for fish in a tandem formation. Then we make our way to Clearwater. The 214 rod portage is long but not bad overall. Clearwater is an absolutely beautiful lake and we chug water like it's going out of style. There's no one on the lake and enjoy watching an Osprey circle and land near the portage to Camdre. We don't catch any fish on Clearwater, but we basically trolled through, realizing that we want to get to Pietro for some smallmouth fishing. The two portages go OK but unknown to us, Denimdemon loses the tip half of one of his rods when the rod tube comes unlatched. He makes a third trip through the second portage and finds it. We get a "five star" camp site atop a tall rocky point with a nice view of the island and head out for fishing. The SMB action is RED HOT and we quickly realize that we need to stay for an extra day to fully appreciate the fishing on this lake. We eat a bass and alfredo pasta for dinner. Jack Daniels and cocoa...mmmmm.

 



Day 4 of 5


Saturday, June 25, 2005
Another breakfast of pancakes and we're off to land over 40 fish between the two of us, including 5 double hookups. The SMB are VERY active and we fish 6-7 hours straight, casting as close to the shoreline as possible. The fish are holding very close to the waters edge in any visible structure. There are so many rocky points/dropoffs to name. The entire Eastern shore, island and western inlet seem to be the most productive. The fish we caught were of all sizes and are caught on crankbaits, silver and gold rapalas, bucktails and small chartreuse spinnerbaits as well as buzzbaits in the evening.
We eat another bass for dinner because we didn't want to try very long for walleye. The bass action is too fast for comparison and we quickly get bored jigging for walleye. There's no freshwater comparison to the fight of a smallmouth bass. Fried bass with potatoes and onions hits the spot after a long day fishing. Watch a few loon swim/fish/call while eating and reading books. Wash dinner down with Tequila/vodka/Jack....bad idea
 

 



Day 5 of 5


Sunday, June 26, 2005
The booze hits my head harder than expected. Worse yet, the pancake mix is gone. We eat fried potatoes and dried eggs. The eggs have the texture and taste of burnt rubber and I enjoy the flavor intermittently the rest of the day. Not quite the hangover helper I needed. We brake camp and make our way to Gull. Since we stayed and extra day on Pietro, we need to travel all the way back to the Little Gabbro entry today. The portage to Gull is a piece of cake. Gull looks like a nice lake but we don't have the time to explore or fish. There are two portages to Bald Eagle from Gull and the first is very short. In between there is a short marsh paddle that is quite beautiful, scenic and serene. The second portage is more intense, mainly due to the length and a few elevation changes. We get to Bald Eagle and have the good luck to have the wind at our backs for the majority of the return. We troll through Bald Eagle, Gabbro and Little Gabbro and catch one last northern and stop for a picture. There's plenty of wildlife to be seen...Bald eagle, two deer drinking water, turtles. No moose. The transition from Gabbro back to Little Gabbro involves a short rapid which we run through inadvertently fully loaded down with packs. Fortunately we steer through straight and make it unscathed. The final portage to the truck is not bad and we get a shower and cold drink back at the outfitters. All in all a great first trip. One more day for this loop would have been better as we didn't get to enjoy Gull lake. I had trouble adding photos on this report...will have to put them somewhere else.

 


Routes
Trip Reports
a
.
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
.
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
x
Routes
Trip Reports
fd
hgc
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports