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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

June 21 2024

Entry Point 50 - Cross Bay Lake

Cross Bay Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Gunflint Ranger Station near the city of Grand Marais, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 45 miles. Access is thru the Cross River with two portages to Ham Lake and a 24-rod portage to Cross Bay Lake. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 3
Elevation: 1670 feet
Latitude: 48.0760
Longitude: -90.8222
Cross Bay Lake - 50

Turtle Point

by BigTim
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 05, 2023
Entry Point: Missing Link Lake
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
The bunkhouse at Tuscarora was a perfect way to relax, check the map, and grill before our AM departure. Our 24th year in a row was nothing less than another affirmation how the BWCA is a unique and pristine place that tugs our hearts all year round.

Day 1 of 7

Monday, June 05, 2023

Beach at Tuscarora Lodge on Round Lake to portages to Missing Link and Snipe lakes

After a Tuscarora breakfast, loaded the canoe to begin a short paddle to the Missing Link portage. The portage was moist due to the couple of hours of rain showers the night before. Uphill climb to Missing Link lake was challenging, but not as difficult as anticipated. The portage from Missing Link to Snipe Lake was a slow downhill decent - again, not as difficult as anticipated. Once on Snipe, took the far NW campsite - as it has an open point facing west. We began to set up camp and fill our water containers. Found the best dry spot for the tent and hung the food back using the 2 tree method. James put reels on poles and started casting. We heard fishing on Snipe was limited - but our experience was very pleasant. First cast - a northern. Same with the 2nd cast. Proved to be a sneak peek in our fishing adventures.

We decided to bring a couple of homemade dehydrated meals - beef/bean burrito and chicken, pasta, and zucchini. Burritos made for our 1st evening meal. They were awesome - 1st time dehydrating ground beef for me. Definitely on the menu for next year.

Throughout the evening, we noticed a turtle climbing from the landing to the middle of camp. This is the pattern we noticed every evening for the duration of our trip. She dug a hole - then she left. She returned just before dusk and found a better spot. Completely refilled with no sign the next morning.


Day 2 of 7

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Fishing on Snipe with day trip to Cross Bay

Beautiful - but hot - day. Decided to fish for walleyes on Cross Bay. Pretty easy paddle and portage at east end of lake. Lots of momma and baby moose prints on the portage and thru the little creek that leads you to the big lake. Passed a loon nest on an island on Snipe. We would pass it many more times - always seeing it occupied. We later learned, parents take turns sitting to allow their mate feeding time.

Headed toward the Rib Lake portage - there is a hole just below the river from Rib. Fished it hard - had some nibbles - but could never land one. We speculated Snipe held bass - due to the many huge rocks submerged alongside many of the bays. Caught plenty of northerns - but released them all.

Another evening of turtle egg laying behavior - so we named our site, Turtle Point.

Gorgeous sunsets!


Day 3 of 7

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Fishing Snipe

Decided to fish Snipe hard. First cast off our site produced a good sized smallmouth. Caught plenty of northerns. I finally caught a bass while paddling home. Fish dinner tonight.

Planned tomorrow's day trip to Copper Lake.


Day 4 of 7

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Day trip to Copper

Map said one 100 rod portage, but we accidentally hopped back in the water in a marshy swampy creek. Followed it toward Copper. Beaver dam made sure there was no access. We weren't the 1st to take this route, so we followed a makeshift trail alongside the dam, and put in above. Fished it pretty hard - caught some northerns.

We decided to find the part of the portage we missed - and it was really just a water covered trail alongside the marshy swampy area. Connected with the known trail - and put back in Snipe to head home.


Day 5 of 7

Friday, June 09, 2023

Day Trip to Cross Bay

Decided to hit the walleye hole in Cross Bay again. Threw jigs and deep divers all over the place. Again, a couple of nibbles, but none landed. We camped on Cross Bay last year and caught walleyes there - so we know they are there....but no dice for us this trip. EP 50 is certainly a busy entry point. Most people we saw were either coming or going to Long Lake. Hoping to spy moose between Cross Bay and Snipe - but all we got were tracks and scat.

Baked a couple of BWCA campfire pizzas back at home. Very dry - so we kept our fire small and short. No fire ban when we went in - but you could tell is was just a matter of time. More turtles....we later learned Mom's job is done after laying eggs. 65-70 day incubation - putting the hatch sometime in early to mid August. Less than 1 percent of eggs survive to breeding age. There was no shortage of turtles on our trip - so the egg laying behavior we observed was necessary for the future.


Day 6 of 7

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Rainy and cool. Fishing on Snipe

Started off with intermittent showers until mid morning. Clouds most of the day made for a chilly one. Even required another layer of clothing - such a contrast from earlier in the week. Found some hot cider packets in the drink bag - made quick work of those.

Fished the west side of Snipe - and continued to catch northern. We saved another pizza meal for this evening, so catch and release again.

A mix of sun and clouds returned late afternoon and made for a pleasant final night.


Day 7 of 7

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Pack up and return to Tuscarora

We spend the day before our trip packing our Duluth packs meticulously. Agreed that anything not used on this trip would be left behind in the future. Used everything - so we must be doing something right. Packed everything up, loaded the canoe, then paddled toward Missing Link portage. Portages were drier despite the Saturday AM showers. Again, not as difficult as anticipated. Good thing my pack mule partner can carry heavy loads - because he does most of the work. I think he brings me along to cook and clean.

This was our 24th consecutive year of a BWCA trip. This one may have been our best - as we reflect often on the many previous trips. Next year - 1) add more home made dehydrated meals, 2) upgrade our tackle box, 3) bring a clock. Next year, our 25th, will have some special additions.


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