BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

January 21 2020

Entry Point 38 - Sawbill Lake

Sawbill Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Tofte Ranger Station near the city of Tofte, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 25 miles. Access is a boat landing at Sawbill Lake. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 14
Elevation: 1802 feet
Latitude: 47.8699
Longitude: -90.8858
Sawbill Lake - 38

Sawbill to Smoke

by frlu0501
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 07, 2018
Entry Point: Sawbill Lake
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 4

Trip Introduction:
Base camping from Sawbill to Smoke.


We entered the BWCA at Sawbill, the busiest EP we've used. The wife and I attempt to enter a different entry point each trip. We encountered a lot of traffic and began paddling around 9:30am. We had a group four (two couples).

Paddled to the short portage on the edge of Sawbill leading into Smoke hoping to find a base campsite. If no campsites were available we planned to portage over to Burnt. This portage was a bit difficult to find as it is tucked far into the bay, not visible from the main lake. The portage was also very busy with two groups heading out as we were heading in. It was fairly flat and simple which we managed to single portage. We entered Smoke with low expectations of finding a campsite given all the traffic we've seen. To our surprise we checked three campsites which were all open. We picked a campsite on the east shore for our base-camp.

Fishing was OK, I've had better and I've had worse. We kept 5 walleyes Thurs for a meal. Friday the fish were not biting and only managed one small throwback. After the rain Saturday we managed to get out fishing and bagged a few more eater walleyes. We also caught a mixed bag of bass and northern which were all released.

We had great weather Thurs and Friday, rain Saturday morning until about 1-2pm. We saw a lot of traffic, fishing and canoeing (searching for campsites). Overall it was a great trip with a lot of laughs (as usual). Given the amount of traffic we encountered, it is highly unlikely we'll be using this EP in the future.


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