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

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

July 14 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!

Sioux-Hustler Trail, Backpacking

by SeanThomas
Trip Report

Entry Date: October 21, 2016
Entry Point: Little Indian Sioux River (south)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 3

Trip Introduction:
34 miles and 5900 feet of elevation change in 3 days. Good Times!

Report


We planned our trip in September, looking for something challenging yet attainable. I contacted the Forest Service to inquire about conditions on the Sioux-Hustler and Snowbank Loops and was informed that the Snowbank Loop was impassible due to the recent blow-down so we set our sites on the S-H.

Conditions were seemingly ideal for our entry date- 55 degrees with partial sun. The lot was well marked and easy to find from the Echo Trail. Contrary to the intro notes, I believe we used entry point #15. We parked next to 2 vehicles although never saw another human for the duration of our stay in the park. The self registration box was packed full with no blank slips remaining, so as far as the Ranger is concerned, we never did this loop.

Day 1: 13 Miles We set off Friday morning for Devil's Cascade. After navigating through a marshy area, over a couple ancient beaver dams and a bevy of fallen timber and soupy trails, we arrived at the falls around lunch. This section of trail is well marked and relatively easy to follow. There's a picturesque descent near some whitewater about halfway to the cascade. You hike through a nice blend of oak and pine and the trail is lined with granite remnants of the old fire tower trail. Upon arrival at the Devil's Cascade, we explored the falls and adjacent campsite while eating lunch then mistakenly headed north down the portage trail to the southern tip of Loon Lake. We backtracked up the trail a hundred yards and found the Cairn adorning the fork to the northern spur of the trail. Back on track.

Moose and wolf scat, accompanied by tracks were prevalent on this stretch although the only wildlife we managed to spot besides the squirrels and water fowl were the occasional grouse.

Our original plan was to make it to the campsite on the north side of Range Line Lake to bed down for the night. North of the falls the Sioux-Hustler becomes much more of a goat trail. Although its easy enough to avoid getting lost, the elevation changes, water crossings and tree-fall make for slow going. We were losing daylight when we arrived at Pageant Lake so we decided to call it a day a couple miles short of our goal. In hindsight a great choice. The site was quaint and serene with space for our tent and maybe a second. (This lake is only reachable by hikers so it's totally unspoiled.)

Day two: 13 Miles We arose early to hit the trail. We were making good time and the weather was again cooperating. There are several water crossings on the stretch heading south. We passed the trails for the campsites on Range Line, Hustler, Emerald and Agawato. Each is clearly marked with a stone cairn. Realizing that we had to keep pace to make our goal site on the NE side of Shell lake we decided against making the descent required to access any of the other sites we passed. Another good decision. Although there are many water crossings on this trail, your feet are most likely to get saturated from the trail itself. By day two we were getting fairly proficient at avoiding stepping into the ankle deep puddles which settle into much of the Sioux-Hustler but the occasional swearing outburst usually signaled that the lead man's feet had again gone under. We finished another long day by reaching our destination. The campsite on the NE corner of Shell was accessible via a stomped down trail which flanks the lake adjacent to the water crossing between Shell and Little Shell Lake. This site was much larger with several tent site options. We may put this one on the list for potentials for a future canoeing trip. The night sky was incredible from the granite beach.

Day 3: 9 Miles With rain in the forecast, our final day started at 6AM. We broke camp with headlamps blazing and commenced with several miles of up and down switchbacks and creek crossings. This portion of the trail offers some of the better scenic overlooks on the S-H. We hooked back up with the North-South trail mid-morning. It rained for the duration of our exit day but, with dry shoes waiting in the car, avoiding the puddles on the trail became less essential.

The first humans we came into contact with were on the logging trail that leads to the parking lot. I assume they were hunting quail or grouse outside the park boundary. We arrived at the car just after noon.

In summary, it was a great trip. We averaged around 2 miles per hour. My brother tracked our trip with his Garmin GPS with altimeter which logged a total of 5900 feet of elevation gain! This was, in retrospect, a pretty aggressive itinerary for this time of year. We spent 80% of the daylight hours logging miles on the trail; not that we would have gone swimming had we had the time. The forest was gorgeous. I wish I would have brought a guide book to identify the dozens of species of mushrooms we came across. The beaver dam crossings were ancient and magnificent and I would recommend this loop to anyone looking for a good challenge.

Gear Note: I wore water resistant runners, my brother wore trail shoes and my Father wore Gore-tex mid hikers. Our feet were all fully saturated by each day's end. I'm super happy we brought plenty of good socks and footwear for the evening. A critter devoured one of my soiled socks overnight in my pack at the Pageant lake site. We hung our bags the second night. Good luck. Enjoy!

 


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