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

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

July 18 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!

Father and Son BWCA trip

by Hueyav8r
Trip Report

Entry Date: August 01, 2017
Entry Point: South Kawishiwi River
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
I’ve been to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area a couple times, Quetico and Algonquin but I never taken any of my adult children with me except for a week in a cabin in the BWCA. I’ve have taken them on a long weekend trip to the Ausable River in Michigan and the Current River in the Ozarks. My son John is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering. He spends his days in the Clean Room doing research or in his office, sometimes seven days a week. I planned the trip in early August to be a route that would be a circle and end up where we started. With advice from Voyageur North Outfitters figured part of the route would be too dry in August to paddle and it would require a long possibly bushwack portage. The revised plan was to enter #33 Little Gabbro Lake and paddle up the South Kawishiwi River to Lake One, possibly Lake Two and back again to take out. That was the plan, stuff happened.

Part 1 of 6

My drive from Indianapolis thru Champaign IL to pick up John and onto Wisconsin the first night was non eventful. We didn’t want to push it all the way through. We did stop at the Cherry Valley Café in Cherry Valley IL Friday night for their all you can eat Walleye dinner. I would recommend if you can plan that into your drive. This drive was an opportunity for some Father and Son time. We arrived in Ely on Saturday midday, gave us time to visit the tourist sites and show him Piragus. We stayed at Voyageur North’s bunk house. Very affordable way to spend a night just before you hit the water.


Part 2 of 6

First day on the water I was driving to the access point and stopped at the wrong site. The funny thing before we headed to the water I took a picture of the sign that showed we were at the wrong access point. I never even noticed what I was taking. We entered at #32 South Kawishiwa River portaged everything to the water and began our trip. I had the map in front of me and didn’t see anything match up to what the map was saying. We were heading NE but nothing was right. I carry a GPS just in case I’m lost and decided to take a look. Realized then we were about 3 kilometers west of where we needed to be. Once I knew where we were all was good, we continued. Eventually catching up to where I was planning to stop for the evening. Dinner first night was steaks, potatoes and green beans. The sunset view of the water was wonderful.    


Part 3 of 6

Second day on the water, with no set plan we decided to leave our gear at the site and go on a day trip. We continued up the Kawishiwi River and onto Lake One. Lake One was crowded, I didn’t see an open camp sites. I was wanting to get away from people so we turned back and returned to our camp site. Early day ended and my son relaxed reading a text book on the US Constitution. He was taking a break from Lasers and whatever else to relax with the Constitution. That’s my son.


Part 4 of 6

The third day on the water we paddled west across the Kawishiwi River and down to Clear lake. Found a wonderful camp site and decided to spend two days there. Our down day was spent relaxing, I set up my hammock and it was used a lot that day.     


Part 5 of 6

The fifth day we were going to paddle out and luck would have it, rain all night. My son’s tent got wet inside and when I woke up he was sitting under the rain fly looking miserable. I was expecting the rain to stop but it didn’t. We packed up in the rain and headed out. We were soaked but our spirits were good. We passed a group of men coming in that were surprised we didn’t fish. Their comment was “who would be out in this weather if they weren’t fishing”? Guess they never heard of a Father and Son trip.


Part 6 of 6

On the portage from Eskwagama Lake to Sourth Kawisiwi River I slipped on a rock portaging the canoe and sprained my ankle about ten feet from the put in. John went back and portaged the remaining gear in one carry. On the final portage from the take out to my car he carried everything. I only carried a small day pack. As soon as we were in cell range he was texting my daughter that’s an MD and she advised I ice my foot and elevate. I laughed, little hard to do that and drive all day. We got back to Voyageur North, returned their canoe and took a hot shower. I’m not sure other Outfitters do this, but Voyageur North offers showers if you rent your canoe from them. It’s great to have a hot shower for the drive. That night at the hotel I did my best to follow the Dr orders.

The trip was a good bonding experience for us. I was glad he took time away from his work/studies. It’s 2019 and he is going with me again. This time with a group of first timers I’m leading. 


Trip Reports
Trip Reports
Trip Reports
Trip Reports