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

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

June 04 2023

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!

Scouts first trip

by lunchlady
Trip Report

Entry Date: August 15, 2007
Entry Point: Farm Lake
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 6

Trip Introduction:
Our primary purpose was to fish, with exploring the BWCA as a bonus. I have been in the BWCA three times and the rest of the crew was on their maiden voyage.

Day 1 of 4

Wednesday, August 15, 2007  We left Saint Cloud MN at 9 a.m. Pulling into Ely at 1 we quickly got our permit and had a great lunch at Cranberries on main street. We soon found our entry point on Farm Lake and got the gear into the canoes. It was now 3 p.m. Our initial goal was to get into Gabbro by nightfall. We had a great deal of difficulty finding our way into the North Kawishiwi River entry point but with some help from some local fisherman did get there. With the wind to our backs we made good progress and paddled up to our first portage. With a 175 rod hike to Clear Lake we unloaded and took off. With all of our gear we had to double portage. Half way there a tree had blown down across the trail, making it difficult to get around. On our return trip we took the time to clear it so portaging the canoes wouldn't be as difficult. Our scout group has it's own aluminum canoes and boy were they heavy. By the time we got everything to Clear Lake we decided it was time set camp. We took the first site east of the portage. It was a small uneven site. What was surprising and somewhat upsetting was all the trash left at this site. It is rare we do a camp clean up before we set up but took the time to do so, storing the trash with ours. Soon we had our tents set and was working on water and supper. With hobo dinners of hamburger, potatoes, onions and carrots on the fire we settled in for the night. It was a warm evening with a slight breeze. To our surprise there were no bugs and we sat out by the fire . Soon we all retired to our tents for a good nights rest.


Day 2 of 4

Thursday, August 16, 2007  We woke early, had oatmeal, coffee, and juice then broke camp. Loading the canoes we were off, heading south through Clear Lake. Along the way we spotted a beaver, and marveled at the huge boulders just under the water line. This small lake was clean and clear and we thought it might be good for fishing but pushed on rather than stop and try our luck. All to soon it was time to portage again. I had been through this portage at the south end of lake two years ago. It is amazing what a beaver damn and two years can do to a portage. It was muddy and about three quarters of the way across the 70 rods it just disappeared into the pond that the beavers had made. The alternate route that ran up through the trees was treacherous with loose dirt, rocks, and large tree roots. The end of the portage dumped out into a muddy mess were you had to push your canoe out quit a ways before jumping in. This is were our trip took a wrong turn. Going to our right instead of left we headed south down the South Kawishiwi River. With the wind coming at us head on we paddled on, looking for a portage that wasn't there. After a time and a lot of map reading we realized our error, but were nearly to entry point 32. We decided to make camp at the first camp site northeast of the 32 entry point portage. This was a great camp site with several level areas to set tents. It also had a good place to land all three canoes and logs around the fire grate to sit on. We decided to stay here and fish the river the next couple of days. Stetting camp we again picked up trash and stowed it. I hope this isn't happening everywhere but suspect it is. We all had lunch. chicken from a pouch in wraps with cheese. Then we started our fishing and exploring. Several small northerns were caught and a few smallies. Before long it was supper time and we all met up for beans and rice and yes, more chicken from a pouch. It was very tasty and soon the dishes were done, bear bags back in the trees and we were off fishing again. Soon it was dark and we built a small fire, sitting around plotting the next day activities and talking about how poor of a map reader I was. Soon it was time to hit the tents, an owl hooted us off to sleep. My son at thirteen hadn't heard an owl in the wild before and after a few calls just had to ask"what is that dad". Laughing I said not to worry it was just an owl and soon we were sleeping.


Day 3 of 4

Friday, August 17, 2007  We all slept in this morning, being 7:30 before we all rolled out of the tents and made breakfast of oatmeal, trail mix, dried pineapple, coffee and juice. We decide to split up this morning and go our own way, fishing and exploring the river. Going south on the river we find an eagles nest with two adult eagles and a hatchling in it. We pull up to the bank a good distance off and watch them through our binoculars. This was a special treat to see them interacting, feeding, calling to each other. Soon we feel like we had worn out our welcome and head north. We spot a doe and a fawn. We think we see a golden eagle. It was a huge brown bird with at least a forty eight inch wing span. Traveling northwest we fish and explore. Until today it was catch and release but tonight we wanted to have a fish fry so it was time to get with the program. We had a good stringer of smallies by lunch time so we drifted south toward camp, taking in all the sites the river held. The wind had came up and was blowing down the river pretty good. Lunch was summer sausage, hard colby cheese, dried fruit and trail mix all washed down with water spiked with crystal light raspberry lemonade mix. Good stuff with easy clean up. After a little rest we all head back out for more fishing. We pretty much fish all afternoon with mixed results. All in all we gathered enough bass for all of us to eat that evening. So fish and cheesy rice was the fare for this evening. After clean up we all just lazed around camp, some reading books, others fishing from the bank. A few small northerns were landed and released. As darkness descended we knew there was a fire ban that went into effect this day so we sat around in the dark chatting until sleep called us to the tents.


Day 4 of 4

Saturday, August 18, 2007 We woke at six this morning and broke camp. Time to head home. It came all too soon for us. With coffee and hudson bay bread for breakfast it was quick and easy. It was forty degrees and the fog was rolling off the water like it was boiling. It was an erie sight as we gathered our belongings into the canoes. With one last inspection of the camp site to ensure we left no trace we paddled northwest on calm waters. With no wind we made excellent time tracing the same route out as we had taken in. Six hours later we were back at the boat launch unloading and getting cleaned up for our trip home. A stop off at Ely for lunch and a little exploring there and we were on our way home with some wonderful memories of our trip.