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!

September 2015 BWCA EP 33

by drewbsd
Trip Report

Entry Date: September 10, 2015
Entry Point: Little Gabbro Lake
Exit Point: South Kawishiwi River (32)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
This was my first trip in 18 years to the Boundary Waters. My previous two trips were when I was in Boy Scouts at ages of 12 and 16. This was my wife's first time to the BWCA. We left Rapid City, SD on the morning of 9/8 and made our way to Minneapolis. We went to REI and picked up a few last minute items and then off to the Mall of America for dinner and some shopping. We arrived at River Point Resort on 9/9 and met with Jane. She was wonderful. We then went through all the gear and planned our route. We stayed the night at one of their beautiful Chalets before departing the following morning. You can also watch a you tube video of our trip. here is the link https://youtu.be/OZmwSToGBc0

Day 1 of 5


Thursday, September 10, 2015 We woke up after eagerly setting our alarm for 6:30. After a short breakfast and out last warm showers we loaded our bags and enjoyed a cup of coffee on the porch of the Chalet waiting for our transport to EP 33. At 8am we met with the outfitter and loaded into the van and off we went. It was a short 1/2hr drive to the EP 33 at Little Gabbro Lake. The real trip began with our first portage. It was 250+ rods with a canoe, 3 packs (we packed heavy), fishing gear, paddles and a canister of worms. It was a long but nice portage. It took three trips (two with gear) and about on hour. After a short break we were on the water by 9:45 and headed to find our camp site. I had done some research and wanted to base camp at camp number 2135 but it was taken. I had three other camps in mind that all faced west so we could enjoy sunsets together. After discovering the next two camps were taken we found a unoccupied camp (1715). When we arrived we seen trash littered around the camp and the fire grate had been removed from the pit. After picking up the trash we contemplated moving on or staying and cleaning up the camp site. We decided to say. We unpacked and set up camp for the next three nights. I rebuilt and fixed the fire grate and pit. We can't have a fire without wood so we paddled to an island across from camp and gathered enough fire wood for a couple day (so we thought!). I wanted to do all cooking over the fire and not use the camp stove for the entire trip. So we went through more wood than we thought we would. First nights dinner was steak, mashed potatoes and corn accompanied with a nice cup of Boto Box red wine.

 



Day 2 of 5


Friday, September 11, 2015 It got a little chilly last night. Luckily we decided to grab fleece liners for our sleeping bags from the outfitter at the last second. It got down into the 30s. We had scrambled eggs, sausage ad English muffins for breakfast. We also had coffee from the new coffee percolator we purchased in Ely before the trip. The coffee was fantastic. We just barely had enough wood for breakfast. We hit the water around 9:30am headed towards Bald Eagle Lake. The weather was cloudy but calm and beautiful. At the portage between Gabbro and Bald Eagle we met a father and son. They mentioned that at the portage to Turtle Lake, there were signs up about trapping wolves. We had not planned on going to Turtle Lake but we decided to head that way in hopes of seeing the biologists and possibly a wolf. Turns out the portage to Turtle Lake sucks. It was about the same length as our entry point but this one was basically string up a rocky hill then straight down a rocky hill. We were a little tired when we reached Turtle Lake and sadly we did not see either biologist or wolves. We wondered around Turtle Lake for a bit then decided to head back to Bald Eagle. On our way back to the portage to Gabbro the wind decided to pick up and we ended up fighting it all the way back to camp. Once back at camp we headed back out and gathered some more fire wood. Becky caught the only fish of the day, a nice walleye. I brought some dried potato soup with extra dehydrated hash browns added to it on this trip. The idea was to add chunks of fish to the soup the last 5 minutes of cooking. This was the best meal of the trip by far!!! Luckily I brought enough for two dinners.

 



Day 3 of 5


Saturday, September 12, 2015 Today we decided to take it easy and relax. We slept in until 7:30 despite the camp squirrels and chipmunks becoming more aggressive throughout the night. They started getting closer and closer to the tent during the night. When we woke up it was really foggy out and we had a nice time watching the fog lift from the lake. After the fog cleared the lake became like glass. It was a beautiful morning. We headed out to tour the bay we were camped in. I caught a nice northern and decided to keep it so we could have our potato fish chowder the following night. We had a fun time exploring the bay and found some cool shallow areas at the back of the bay. We then headed back to camp and set up the hammocks. I took a nap while my wife read her book. After the nap we went back to the island across from us and gathered some more fire wood. Dinner was not to our liking (we were spoiled from the night before) and we ended up having peanut butter and cheese ups. Don't hate on them, they were good. We left a nice bunch of fire wood for the next people who stay at this camp site. The sunset was amazing this night!

 



Day 4 of 5


Sunday, September 13, 2015 We woke up early to howling winds. We spent a long time lying in the tent trying to decide if we wanted to break camp and head to Kawishiwi River or not. The wind was a strong deterrent, but we finally decided to brave it and move on. All in all by the end of the day we were happy with the decision. We fought the wind across Gabbro and Little Gabbro but once we reached Kawishiwi River it seemed to die down. The longer portage between Little Gabbro and Kawishiwi was our favorite this whole trip. My wife documented the portage and can be seen in the you tube video documenting this trip. My goal for the day was to reach the 5 star camp site number 1131 and see if it was available, it was! Even though it was still early in the day we decided to set up camp and stay the night. The campsite overlooked the river where it was split by a small island and some rapids. Whoever was there last left a nice pile of wood. We really enjoyed this camp site. After camp was set up we enjoyed some time fishing and drinking some Boto Box wine. While hanging out we saw a group of grumpy older men (probably wanting our camp site) come upon the rapids. We told them a few times they could portage through camp. They insisted on walking through the rapids. It was some free entertainment. They were the last people we seen for 24hrs. I caught a nice sized small mouth. For dinner we made Potato Fish Chowder again. It was just as good if not better than before. It was a peaceful and wonderful evening and sunset.

 



Day 5 of 5


Monday, September 14, 2015 The wind continued to howl last night and basically until we got off the water. We broke down camp and left at 9:30. The first hour was nice. We seen our only loon of the trip. We also watched a bald eagle fly from tree to tree in front of us as we paddled west on the Kawishiwi. We made it to EP 32 at 11:30 and waited for the outfitter to pick us up. As we waited we both agreed that we wished the trip was longer. Once back at River Point Resort we could not wait to take a nice hot shower. The poor little soap bar didn't make it through our showers. We then headed into Ely for a couple beers and bloody mary's.

Highlights and Future Trip Suggestions 1. Potato Fish Chowder is a must 2. Boxed wine is a must 3. Empty bladders from boxed wine make great pillows when you inflate them. 4. NO, you have not collected enough firewood 5. Every afternoon was windy 6. Slow Down and Enjoy! Try not to rush 7. Sunsets are always amazing 8. The only fuel we used this trip was wood. All cooking done over the fire 9. Even the best pictures do not do the beauty of the BWCA justice 10. Next trip, pack our own meals 11. The coffee percolator we purchased before the trip was the best purchase 12. Even though it was a little chilly we had too much clothing along 13. Take time each morning to enjoy the sunrise and calmness. 14. Turns out peanut butter and cheese roll ups are tasty!

 


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