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November 29 2023

Entry Point 58 - South Lake

South 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 47 miles. Access is from Gunflint Lake with a 10-mile paddle and two short portages to South Lake. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1561 feet
Latitude: 48.1017
Longitude: -90.5686
South Lake - 58

Boundary Waters May, 2023

by Bsando23
Trip Report

Entry Date: May 28, 2023
Entry Point: South Lake
Exit Point: Clearwater Lake (62)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 5

Trip Introduction:

Day 1 of 6

Sunday, May 28, 2023

We set out today on Gun Flint Lake and paddled for two-three hours before getting out of the canoe to the next lake.

The wind over the water created some choppy waves, but not enough to slow us down. To carry the canoe overland one must delicately lift the canoe and avoid falling.

The pines stood sentinel over the lakes as we paddled. Now the wind whispers through the pines as I write this in camp.


Day 2 of 6

Monday, May 29, 2023

We paddled to Rose Lake with two short portages. Now we are in camp after a hike to a water fall and the top of a ridge line. The geological features consist of exposed cliff formations with depressions in between.

Optically this presents the appearance of a staircase of rock ledges undulating into valleys.


Day 3 of 6

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Mountain Lake

Today has been the most strenuous. We had three overland hikes with canoes and packs on our back. If one extends their arms fully and places the fingers on the side of the canoe it is fairly easy to balance the canoe on the shoulders.

We had to traverse two beaver ponds with bunches of gnawed trees obstructing us. One beaver swam out and dove under the water. We also saw two bald eagles. As we entered Mountain Lake from our last portage the sun reappeared and shimmered off the water. We found camp in a pine thicket ; now the fire is cooking our provisions of rice and sausage.


Day 4 of 6

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Mountain Lake

Slept in. Woke up with a smoke, breakfast burrito, and coffee. Our expert fisherman Tom Cummins and I went fishing; Tom hooked a lake trout and I netted it.

As we paddled into the wind on returning to camp the white crests on the lake took on a crystalline shimmer. The storms are building across the lake and a strong breeze hisses through the pines in camp.


Day 5 of 6

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Last night in camp. We spent all day on shore. Chelsea, the two Toms, and I played a round of spades. I took a few pictures of the sunset. The Big Dipper came out, and I saw Venus from the waterline. Right before bed I stood by a tree listening to the quiet on the lake. The water stood still and all one could hear was frogs in the distance. You could see the profound silence.

Tomorrow we paddle to a portage onto Clearwater Lake, then to the outfitters. The Boundary Waters are beautiful. A profound scene is paddling on a shimmering lake while forests of pine and outcrops of sheer rock formations rise like sentinels from the water's edge. The work of paddling, carrying the canoe, and camp chores add to the moment. For everything done here is done in the present, with little regard for past or future.

To get to where one needs to go, to cook a meal, to look upon the landscape, and to discuss it all with friends in camp is what happily occupies the mind. Existence is not based on a timed schedule here, but on what needs to get done. The laboring for existence in these woods is what gives existence its vitality.


Day 6 of 6

Friday, June 02, 2023

We paddled Clearwater Lake to Clearwater Outfitters, concluding our trip.

Thank you Chelsea, Tom R., Tom C., and Dad for a great time!!!

-Brian Sando


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