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

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

June 16 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!

Base camping w/ broken ankle

by straighthairedcurly
Trip Report

Entry Date: September 01, 2018
Entry Point: Trout Lake
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 3

Trip Introduction:
Started at Moccasin Point on Lake Vermillion, traveled to Pine Lake via Trout Lake.


This was our 3rd annual Labor Day weekend family trip. The trip consisted of me, my husband, and our teenage son. Normally, we are pretty hard core and travel hard everyday. However, this year I broke my ankle 2 weeks before our scheduled leave date and the whole trip was up in the air until my doctor gave me the green light and just said to take it easy. So with an ankle brace snugged firmly around my left ankle, and a son who willingly offered to carry the heaviest pack, we set off.

After work on Friday, we drove from the Twin Cities to Pfeiffer Lake campground. After a hearty breakfast in Cook, we picked up the permit and drove to Moccasin Point on Lake Vermillion. We put on the water at 9:30am Saturday. The weather was beautiful with light winds and sunny skies.

At the 60 rod portage into Portage Bay on Trout Lake, my husband carried the canoe and a pack basket. I carried the lightest pack plus paddles and life jackets, while our son hoofed across with the heaviest pack before coming back and relieving me of my pack. The portage was quite flat and well worn. I just watched my footing extra carefully, but made good time. We still managed to keep our typical pace of 10 rods per minute.

We paddled directly over to the 240 rod portage into Pine Lake. This is also a well traveled portage, though due to its length it certainly travels up and down some hills, through some mud, and has moderate numbers of rocks. Other than the one group doubling back on the portage for the rest of their gear while one of them talked obnoxiously on his cell phone, it was an uneventful crossing.

The island campsites on Pine Lake were already taken so we turned south and headed for the site on the odd boot shaped peninsula. We kept thinking we had missed it, but finally found it. The landing area is small and the site is very hidden by trees and shrubs. What a pleasant surprise to find this site! It was barely used...nothing fresh in the latrine, ground completely covered in a thick layer of pine needles. It was very private, with a decent spot for a 4 person tent up on a bluff overlooking the lake. The fire grate was tucked down lower and was very protected from any wind. We arrived at this site about 1:30pm and quickly set up camp.

Swimming was tough from this site, but once past the large, slippery boulders it was enjoyable. My son and husband set out in the canoe for a late afternoon fishing expedition and came back with the biggest Crappie any of us had ever seen. It pan fried up beautifully and was a welcome addition to our meal of mac/cheese w/ salami.

Due to my ankle feeling pretty tender from the first day of travel, we decided to stay put at our lovely campsite on Sunday. Instead of packing up, we took a day trip to the northern end of Pine Lake and explored Pine Creek as far as the portage to Chad Lake. It was a lovely, winding travel and we kept expecting to see a moose around each corner. There were a couple beaver dams to pull over, and a few rocky areas, but otherwise was an easily passable creek. The portage to Chad Lake has a high bluff off to the left, so we scrambled up there to eat lunch and watch the eagles soaring. Afterwards, we strolled the portage path and found that the industrious beavers had flooded the Chad Lake end requiring extra work for anyone trying to pass through.

We had a quiet evening back at the campsite with wild rice soup and cheesy biscuits. Monday morning, we lazed around before breaking camp and putting on the water at 11:30am. My ankle felt stronger for the return passages across the 2 portages and I concluded that a BWCA trip was worth more than any physical therapy I might have done back in the Cities. We drove out of the parking lot by 4:00 pm and zipped back home by 8:30 that night.

I would love to go back to this area and explore the Little Sioux River or the Chad Lake/Buck Lake area and beyond. I had never been to this end of the BWCAW before. Other than the heavy motor boat traffic on Vermillion, it was a lovely place to visit.


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