BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

May 06 2021

Entry Point 39 - Baker Lake

Baker 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 26 miles. Access is a boat landing at Baker Lake with a 10-rod portage into Peterson Lake to reach first campsite. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 3
Elevation: 1497 feet
Latitude: 47.8452
Longitude: -90.8169
Summary: A 5-day loop from Baker up the Temperance lakes to Cherokee, and back through Sawbill and Smoke lakes back to Baker. A fairly difficult trip.



Day 0: We drove up from Stillwater in the morning and camped at one of the 5 walk-in campsites at Baker Lake, and it was nice.




Day 1 (Baker to S. Temperance) - A beautiful day, we decided to paddle all the way to South Temperance the first day which was a great paddle with easy portages except for the last one. We picked the campsite on top of a huge rock that was close to the middle of the lake. Tried fishing some but no luck




Day 2 (Rest) - In the night, we encountered the worst storm of the entire season. While we were there 19 people had to be rescued from the BWCA. We had about 50mph straightline winds, and I'm still surprised that the huge tent we had stood up to it. We slept in and took a rest day because of the intense winds. Amazingly beautiful sunset.





Day 3 (S. Temperance to Cherokee) - We left as early as we could to beat the heat, but it was no good. The lengthy, hilly portages were challenging and by the last portage we were pretty beat. We overpacked and single portaged which led us to speedier exhaustion. Still amazing weather. North Temperance was a beaut- I wish we had stayed there instead of South. We took the southeasterly facing campsite on Cherokee on the southeastern skinny island. Neat little site.



Day 4 (Cherokee to Sawbill) - Left a little later in the day but it was ok. We took our time going down the river letting out of the southwest part of Cherokee and it was a great area. BEWARE: The area between Ada and Skoop Lakes appears to be floatable, but a dam built recently has made the portion impossible to float. Be prepared for a long portage through muck and water. A guy that we saw there said he had been going to the BWCA for 40 years at least once per year and it was the worst portage he had ever seen. By the time we got to Sawbill it was pretty hot. We paddled all the way down to the site next to the portage onto Smoke.



Day 5 (Sawbill to Baker) - Cooler, cloudier weather for the first time on the trip. We were pretty hungry (I underpacked food a little and I felt really bad) and we were taunting each other with vivid descriptions of the burgers we were going to eat ASAP after getting out. We paddled back to Baker and returned our gear to Sawtooth outfitters.


Overall great route.

Homer to Brule

by gutmon
Trip Report

Entry Date: September 07, 2009
Entry Point: Homer Lake
Exit Point: Brule Lake (41)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
Wanting to see a new area, we chose Homer Lake EP for a few days of fishing and exploring.

Report


[paragraph break]9/7/09- We pushed off from the landing at EP 40 Homer Lake at 8am on a beautiful late summer day. There are a couple of sites on Homer outside of the BWCA, but all were empty. We saw one group of 4 in two canoes that were coming out, and then a couple with a small baby passed us on their way out. We crossed the short, easy portages and found a site on Pipe Lake. There are three sites on Pipe, all pretty small and confining. We chose the site the furthest to the East, the biggest of the three on the lake. There was a lot of wolf sign on the trails around the camp, much of it quite fresh. The middle site in the NW corner of the lake was taken when we arrived, but they left shortly after we set up and we saw no more people until the last day of our trip. [paragraph break]When we got to our site on Pipe Lake, we unloaded the canoe and pulled it up on shore. There was mud and bark in the bottom of the canoe and I thought I saw something that looked like a barnacle attached to the bottom behind the rear seat. I didn’t pay much attention, but when I later looked I saw that it was a stick about the diameter of a pencil, with ½” sticking into the inside of the hull and ½” outside the hull. I assume we had picked it up from a submerged tree along the way. The stick was doing a pretty good job of plugging the hole, but not workable for long. I removed the stick and patched the hole using duct tape on the outside of the hull, a small piece of latex eraser pushed into the hole (I knew bringing my drawing stuff would be a good idea!) and more duct tape over the putty. The fix held the whole trip without as much as a trickle of water entering the boat. [paragraph break]9/8/09- we packed up early and left the site by 8am and worked our way up to Vern Lake. Water levels were extremely high due to beaver dams at every rapids. Traveling and portages were easy due to the high water. We grabbed the site on the West shore of Vern and set up camp. We then explored the area between our campsite and the portage into Juno. [paragraph break]Vern Lake was affected by both the blow down and fire, but the trees are coming back and growing quickly without the competition for light that you find in old growth forests. Vern offered some nice cliffs on the Eastern shore near the NW tip of the lake. [paragraph break]Fishing was good for smallmouth and we caught some nice ones. We also caught a lot of Northerns, but nothing of any size. My buddy picked up a nice fat 14” Walleye that we had for dinner that night. I caught a smaller Walleye later in the day, but they were the only eyes we picked up this trip. [paragraph break]9/9/09- we got up early and explored the Vern River. Fishing was again great for Smallies and we caught several bigger fish. Also caught Northerns, but all were small. The beaver had been busy in the Vern River as well, with a large dam blocking off access to the Western stretch of the river. We headed back toward camp and it started to sprinkle. We battened down the hatches and put up a tarp to hunker down under. I drank coffee, read and listened to the rain on the tarp and nearby thunder (I was counting to estimate the distance of the strikes and several times didn’t get to one while counting “thousand one, thousand two”). By about 7pm, the rain had stopped and we built a fire and had quesadillas for dinner, several bourbon and waters and a good cigar. The stars did pop out once and a while through the night, but it was generally overcast and foggy. [paragraph break]9/10/09- we broke down camp today and headed out for the last leg of our trip from Vern Lake to Brule. The portage between Vern and Juno is nice, with the top of the hill covered with ripe blueberries. Very late in the season for berries, but we enjoyed their sweet ripeness by the handfuls. There is a steep decline near the end of the portage into Juno, otherwise this portage was easy. [paragraph break]We paddled through Juno and saw our first people since coming in on Monday- there was a couple at the middle site on the lake. The portage into Brule was very nice- open and easy. We again caught smallies and Northerns along the way, with the orange and black spinner bait proving it’s worth again this year. We entered Brule at Jock Mock Bay and began our search for a site on this beautiful lake. We spent three hours looking at sites only to find all but one with people on them. We finally ended up at the south end of the lake near the landing and decided that we were too tired and hungry to fight the wind in the west end of the lake. We called it a trip and drove to Crescent Lake Campground and spent the night there before driving back to Brained the next morning. [paragraph break]While I walked from the Brule landing back to where my truck was parked at the Homer Lake landing, Jeff saw a tan wolf at the entry to the parking lot on Brule. He said it just sauntered in and stopped and looked at him, and then kept on walking slowly into the woods. When I got to the truck, I noticed that there were muddy paw prints all over it where a bear had been looking into the windows. I drove back to Brule and when I got there I noticed that the bear had broken off the side mirror on the passenger side. Once again, duct tape to the rescue. [paragraph break]All in all, a very good trip. As always, I can’t wait for the next one.

 


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