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BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

April 12 2024

Entry Point 55 - Saganaga Lake

Saganaga Lake entry point allows overnight paddle or motor (25 HP max). 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 55 miles. No motors (use or possession) west of American Point. Access to Canada (the Crown land and Quetico Park). Large lake with many campsites and easy access. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 15
Elevation: 1184 feet
Latitude: 48.1716
Longitude: -90.8868
Saganaga Lake - 55

Saganagons base camp

by 24kGold
Trip Report

Entry Date: June 30, 2013
Entry Point: Saganaga Lake Only
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 4

Trip Introduction:
Base camping in Saganagons past Dead Man's portage close to Falls chain.

Report


Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 This morning was calm for a change but still cool. I was the first up to put water on to boil for the coffee and hot chocolate. Every other morning it had been Ed. It was beautiful seeing the loon school their offspring at a distance out on the lake. We had a West facing campsite which made watching the sunsets nice. It blocked our sunrise and moonrise, although seeing the light of day reflect on the far shore of the lake was glorious. Since we had a double meat breakfast yesterday, we opted to use yesterday’s lunch meat for today’s breakfast. We had wild rice brats for breakfast. I’m not kidding, they were really good! Hardly any fat and tender. They were delicious. This was Joe’s idea by the way. Besides, they were going to spoil if we didn’t use them soon. We had buns to go with them along with mustard and ketchup. We had a feathery friend join us for breakfast. A Canada jay came in on a branch above our fire grate and looked upon us for a free meal. I think it had came the morning before and cleaned up our bacon after we left camp. It would come right down to us for a piece of bread. Not bashful at all. After breakfast, we packed our camera’s and fishing gear and headed North towards Warrior Hill. It was better than a mile of smooth paddling. We could see some motor boats in the distance on the Canadian side of the border. After figuring where to pull up at, we hiked the quarter mile or so to the summit. I had remembered that the Ojibway Indian Braves were known to race this hill, or so the story goes. We did not run it though. It was full of brush and blue berry bushes all the way up. About half way up I realized I had forgotten my camera, so I encouraged the group to go ahead and I would catch up with them at the top. I got a little disoriented going back up after getting my camera. When I got near the top I started calling out to anyone who was near. I finally got a response and rejoined the group. After catching our breath (speaking for myself) we all were silently amazed by the view we had from this hill top. Everything was worth it at this point. It was the pinnacle of our geographic location and more importantly, it was what this trip was all about. This is the height of our trip by far. As Ed handed me his camera, I began to record a moment that Joe will never forget, and neither will the rest of us. It clearly surprised Joe. Ed presented Joe with a gift marking a changing point in Joe’s life. He’ll soon be turning 16 which will give Joe more responsibility than he’s ever had before since he will soon be driving on his own. Ed challenged and encouraged Joe to meet this responsibility like a man and he expressed his concern for him to make the right choices as he proceeds’ into this all important and exciting part of his young life. Joe was presented with a metal tag, much like a dog tag made from fine metal with inlaid diamonds in the shape of a cross. It had six words engraved on it as well. Six words in Latin, “For God, for Country, For Family”. Now it was my turn. As I handed Ed our camera, he recorded our short ceremony where I presented a letter I had written the month before, and a similar gift of fine metal with a cross and a chain that had some directives engraved on the back encouraging them to “reject passivity, take responsibility, lead courageously and expect a greater reward from our Father in Heaven”. On our decent down the hill, we found an abundance of blue berries that we somehow missed going up. Sweet! We then headed further North to the pictographs and then to the beach for lunch. The air and water was warm enough for a swim so I could not resist. Nobody else would join me for some reason. Hmmm! From there we headed West and North across Lacroix to Fish Stake Narrows to do some fishing. There were two canoes tied together and anchored with their back to the wind (West) so we went a little North of them to try it out. We watched them catch some amazing Walleye and Northerns in the 45 minutes that I held our canoe in place while the boy’s fished. Jacob got one good strike but nothing to reel in. Ed and Joe decided to head back to camp so we exchanged sign language to that effect. The wind was ripping down through this narrow passage between the lakes making it really hard to talk across the Narrows. I got tired of the wind so we paddled back through the narrows and didn’t have any luck fishing there either. Ed and Joe had disappeared from sight so I figured they indeed went back. The boys and I came up with another game plan to fish the windy area again and went back at it. The anchored boats decided to call it quits so we moved into position right where they were. Wham! Wham! Jacob caught two back to back. A really nice Walleye and a nice Northern while I kept the boat with the stern to the wind. An hour went by without any more bites so we decided to begin our trip back South and fish along the way. A big thunderstorm went south of us but we could hear the thunder but missed the rain. A close call even though we had put on our rain gear just in case. We had another shower come over us on the way back as Jacob caught a smaller Northern. We let it go. By the time we got back to camp it was 6 pm. Ed and Joe stood on the shore and couldn’t wait to tell us the story of their afternoon. On their way back they had approached a shore to get out for a while and got caught off guard by some rocks just below the surface. The boat got tipped and Ed went in and under. Joe reached in to help Ed out successfully without any further damage or loss, although Ed had the camera in his pocket with all their pictures in its memory. They also had gotten lost on the way back, circling an island three times before going back I can’t understand that considering Lac LaCroix has about 100 plus islands. They finally went back to Warrior Hill and made a line straight south to find our camp. I still can’t help but feel responsible because we should have stayed together, and that may not have happened if we had. The moral of the story is always take your map and compass on day trips. We proceeded to clean the fish for a second night of fish dinners along with some dehydrated beef stroganoff before it got dark. Everyone was plenty tired and full again.

 


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