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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

May 24 2022

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!

North on the South Kawishiwi

by anxiousangler
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 23, 2007
Entry Point: South Kawishiwi River
Exit Point: Lake One (30)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 3

Trip Introduction:
It had been nearly 30 years since I first read about BWCA. Now that I have moved relatively near the region it was a fine time to go on the much anticipated adventure.

Report


Friday June 22, 2007 Day One Traveling North My 13 y.o. daughter Rose, my 15 y.o. son Robbie and myself drove from NE Iowa to Ely, MN. Left Iowa about 12 noon and arrived in Ely at 8pm. 458 mile drive. Nice to be in the north country again. We stayed in the Bunkhouse at Fall lake with Packsack Outfitters. Gene and Jane Ott were there to greet us with graciousness and hospitality. Didn't get much sleep with the warmth of the many inhabitants and the noise from the visiting Boy Scout clan snoring, coughing, tripping over one another and banging around. Yep, just like the bunkhouse days of past I remember so well.

Sat June 23 Day Two To the river We had an early start this a.m. We were dropped off by Caleb at S. Kawishiwi River near the Hwy 1 bridge. Caleb was quite pleasant, enthusiastic and a tremendous wealth of information on the area, canoe handling and fishing lures and depths. We invited him to join us and further share his knowledge along the river way. He was tempted bud did decline the offer. Rose and Robbie paddled the 2 person Kevlar with gear and myself in the solo Kevlar with gear and off "upstream" we went. It took us 4 portages to get to our first campsite. the first two portages were a bit of a struggle. But then we created a more organized system and the teenagers and I cruised both down trail and waterway. Buggy in camp, especially after 8pm. I was feeling the effects of traveling, lack of sleep, swimming in the river and sunburn when the bright orange and yellow bobber so placidly sitting out in the lake dipped below the still waters in front of our campfire. The hook was set and Rosie excitedly asked "Dad, does it have any size?" and I began to reply "no, I don't..." and at that moment the largest Northern pike that I've ever seen live raced acrobatically out of the water and splashed at us from about five feet offshore. Talk about exciting! the beast was gently landed and released and we returned to our peaceful fire. Besides the +/- 30" pike we had also caught that day several smallmouth and rock bass. We spotted many deer, eagles, beavers, garter snakes, turtles and countless songbirds. Wolves serenaded us that first night as well. What a great start to our week long adventure.

Sunday Day Three It's late tonight and we've just enjoyed our first fried walleye fillet meal. Robbie and I took the canoe out across the quiet river from camp and finally caught a 16 incher for the frying pan. We had been fishing most of the day for the elusive walleye with little luck. Robbie caught a nice bass this afternoon directly across from camp along with several smaller ones. It was a beautiful sunny day after a rainy and windy night in the tents. Rose said she heard the wolves again while we were out fishing. Lots of mosquitoes. We're using the bug dope up rapidly. Went for another swim again today. The water is soft and refreshing. Helps to cool down my sunburned shoulders - ouch! Another great day. We'll move camp tomorrow. Saw several groups of canoes pass bye this day.

Monday Day Four It's hot in the tent as I enter this journal note. Warm day today. Whew! We broke camp at mid morning and paddled about 7 easy miles north up river. Passed many groups both on shore at campsites and canoeing down river. The Ranger lady checked our permit while out in the lake this afternoon. We made several short portages with little difficulty. I walked the loaded canoes through one shallow set of rapids. More like ripples. Robbie had a great day with the fishing rod. He caught numerous bass, with two nearing the 3 pound mark. He also caught 2 walleye, one of which we fried up over the fire in batter. So good! I caught a bass and a pike on Rapalas. The live leeches are preferred by the walleye and bass. Swimming again was pleasant and helped to cool off in the heat. Rosie and Robbie think nothing of diving in at a moment's notice. The bugs were Bravo-Alpha-Delta in places along the portages. We baked biscuits over the fire tonight from our homemade mix. Pretty darn good with honey and butter! Of course the kids chased them down with cocoa. I stuck to the cognac and coffee followed by a wonderful cigar. It's great to be able to relax around the campfire. I like the pace we've set for ourselves. We spotted more turtles, eagles, deer, loons and songbirds. Rosie managed the solo canoe very well today. Hand another great day with my 2 fine young companions.

Tuesday 26th Great day on the S. Kawishiwi River. Robbie and I were up early fishing about 2 miles upstream. Pretty, calm morning. Caught many beautiful bass along the rocky shoreline. I hooked one about 31/2 lbs. Beauty! No walleye though. We paddled back to camp and woke up Rose and enjoyed a breakfast of oatmeal w/raisins and leftover biscuits and honey. That first cup of coffee was a treat! Then the 3 of us paddled back up river to the rapids and fished. Caught more bass and Rosie had some good action as well. Then we noticed the clouds, massive, fat, bulky, black clouds moving in fast from the south. Got caught in a huge thunderstorm and downpour. We made it back to camp soaking wet, laughing and of course hungry. I made a fire and cooked soup while the kids, of course, went swimming. Something about swimming in the rain...I thought it was "singing in the rain"? ... oh well, whatever. I guess they figured they were already wet so they may as well take advantage of it. The weather changed for the better and we organized camp, chopped wood, bathed and even washed my hair. Then this evening we took fresh leeches out of our live bait container and went back to the fishing holes. Finally caught several walleye at one setting. Robbie caught two, one about 16"s that we kept and released the smaller one. Then I hooked a large one and excitedly coaxed it into the canoe safely. Wow! About 24 inches and fat, perhaps 4 or 5 lbs. Beauty. we took the 2 fish back to camp and I filleted them while the kids prepared the campfire and other meal items. There is no respectable manner in which to describe those fresh battered fried fillets cooked over the campfire. What a wonderful treat! Superb with rice. The kids made smores for desert while I enjoyed my cognac and cigar. Beautiful night in the wilderness with the bright moon, stars and calm skies. the bugs were bad though. Lots of biting flies in the the canoe as well. They like to harass bare feet we're discovering. Mosquitoes tend to like the camp atmosphere. The kids are handling them well. Not much complaining in this camp. Saw a lot of people canoeing by us today. Most were heading south. We head north tomorrow with our camp.

Weds. 27th Woke up to a windy morning. Winds out of the SE. Helped us to make good time on our way NW, how convenient. Fun day of paddling after a pancake breakfast. Portages are getting easier with our organization improving and our loads lighter. Beautiful waterfall at one portage. No fish today? Barometer change may have affected this. We had Mt. House freeze dried meals for dinner. Nice dry weather though a bit chilly. Keeps the bugs away. Mostly cloudy. Saw more turtles, eagles and Robbie watched a mink swimming around and climbing island rocks. The sparrows, warblers, thrushes and robins were a mighty chorus this day. We are camped just 3 miles from Lake One exit point. should be a relaxing day tomorrow. Rosie has been whipping us in 500 Rummy! Geez! It's too bad I didn't bring the poker chips...I'd show her who the boss is!

Thursday Day Six Our last night in camp. Only 3 miles to the road system for tomorrow's efforts. Beautiful night. Clear, cool and calm. Great weather the entire week and I feel very fortunate. Lots of birds singing now. We took the canoes up river to scope out the final 2 portages for tomorrow. We caught bass below the shallow rapids. My first of the trip on the fly rod. They were taking surface flies. Robbie had a small pike attack his plug directly below the canoe. Rosie caught a couple of bass today. We caught 3 small walleye up river and released them. Watched many groups come through the Lake One portage to S.Kawishiwi portage. Spoke with one couple from Illinois. They were pleasant, seasoned travelers. They had been to BWCA many times and shared their map and knowledge with me in response to my portage location question. It's nice to meet cheerful people on the trail. Lunch in the sunshine on a large gathering of rocks today. Very nice indeed. It is flat calm out in front of camp tonight and a full moon is making its way above the opposite shore's treeline. So nice. Not many bugs the past 2 days. Didn't use any bug dope, first time the entire trip. The sunburn on my back is peeling off like old dry paint. I managed to burn my thighs today just for a change of painfulness. We cooked every meal this week over the campfire despite packing the Coleman stove and gas. What a terrific week. Time to play cards and smoke my cigar. Can't wait to do this again. Perhaps this fall sometime or maybe next June.

 


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