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

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

July 21 2024

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: 2
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.

BWCAW unmasked

by Woodweller
Trip Report

Entry Date: August 20, 2020
Entry Point: Trout Lake
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 6

Trip Introduction:
This is in the Planning Forum too, but I figured I'd also put it here.

Report


We're back. The trip took a turn when we scored the primo 5 star camp site on one of the Five Sisters Islands on Trout Lake on day one. Outstanding location, multiple tent sites; big, well built fire pit with multiple flat rock work surfaces; thick pine duff everywhere for cushy padding under the tents; lots of large red pines for hammocks; beautiful views in every direction; "parking stalls" at the landing (someone spent a lot of time piling rocks into "jettys" between cleared spaces for 3 canoes); waist high rocks for work surfaces; and a loo with a view plus a lid AND a fold up seat! The landing was rocky/pebbly with a small path of sand to deeper water for swimming. Very little firewood on the island (too popular),but plenty of drift wood on adjacent shores a short paddle away. So Pine Creek, Norway Point and the long portage into Pine Lake became the subject of day trips from our island fastness. We hit Pine Creek from each end, but never had the time to do the whole length. South end, deep and easy. North end shallow and annoying, but maybe navigable with a light load. Would be interested to see it in early season with higher water levels. Pine Lake is a gem. Beautiful place with several creeks to explore. Not a fisherman so I never wet a line. Never made it to Chad Lake portage, but we enjoyed our home on Five Sisters so much we stayed for four nights with no regrets. Watched eagles perched in the trees on one adjacent island. The Sisters are only a few dozen yards apart so dog paddling to other islands was no problem. Found a nice 6 foot high jumping rock off of one of them. Weather was great, just a little rain Saturday night. NO MOSQUITOES!! They were not an issue on the island! The flies (biters too) were annoying, but nothing like the hordes of bloodsuckers I've seen other places. Woke up to heavy wind 6am Monday morning, but it died down around 10:30 so we made our way back to the Moccasin Point take out on Vermilion in about 4 hours. And even though Trout is a motor lake, there were surprisingly few, even on the weekend. All in all an unexpected but appreciated glimpse into a new area for all of us (me, wife, two daughters, one son and son's gf). Just enough for our out-of-shape covid bodies to handle!

 


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