BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

January 22 2019

Entry Point 60 - Duncan Lake

Duncan 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 30 miles. Access is from W. Bearskin Lake with a 75-rod portage to Duncan Lake and Stairway Portage. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 3
Elevation: 1432 feet
Latitude: 48.0709
Longitude: -90.4517
Duncan Lake - 60

august duncan heat!

by bwcasolo
Trip Report

Entry Date: August 26, 2013
Entry Point: Duncan Lake
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
this was our yearly trip back to one of our favorite base camp and hiking areas'.

Day 1 of 7

Monday, August 26, 2013 after 2 very nice days spent in grand marais, where we dined and stayed at the shoreline inn, we headed up the road to duncan lake. parking the car and unloading it was apparent that it was going to be warm and buggy as the skeeters were out in force. we portaged into duncan and went to our favorite site just to the left. getting out we noticed no breeze and decided with the newly hatched sketters, a site on the north side of the lake, with breeze would be best. it was hard to leave such a nice site, but in the end it was the best decision. across the lake we went, and the north site was open. the heat began to warm up the day and the sketters were terrible. i could not believe the bugs, this time of year. it felt like july. with a tent, that was too warm for the unusual weather, and the bugs, making a comeback, retreating into the water was our salvation, it was great.


Day 2 of 7

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 after a warm evening another hot day in the works. the trips back to the latrine were quick, armed with long clothing, head nets, and branches, fanning the air to keep the assault of the skeeters at bay. we decided after breakfast to head over to rose lake and hike the border trail west of the falls before the day heated up. the falls offered up cool relief before we began to hike. the views were spectacular, and if we kept moving, the bugs were not too bad. there was some breeze, but not much. as we headed west we came to a low, swampy, wet area, and yes, flocks of sketters! we turned around, and headed beck to the cool comfort of the falls. after cooling off, we paddled back on duncan to a slight breeze from the south. arriving back at our north site, the breeze had lessened and the sketters thickened! so, in the water we went. i must say the swimming was awesome. we did allot of it. the evening was just too calm and buggy to enjoy the stars, so into our shelter we went with books in hand, and prayers for a breeze to cool us down, man it was hot.


Day 3 of 7

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 another hot day int store, i mean freakish hot for this time of year. we keep wondering, when will the storm come to break this oppressive heat. today we managed to do a morning and evening paddle to escape the now newly hatched sketters. they were thickening. many swims were the event of the day, and my wife did a water color at camp. i worked on the canoe landing in the water, my wife read and wrote in our tent. all in all, you make the best of it and we did. we had solitude every day. it was nice to have quiet.


Day 4 of 7

Thursday, August 29, 2013 today we headed over to daniels lake to do a day trip. the easy portage in was nice and the day seemed cooler and the weather had a feeling of change to it. we paddled the entire lake, checking the campsites along the way. there was one on the north side that was nice, but the rest were just so-so. as we were heading back to duncan i caught movement in the water along the south shore. the flopping ears of a moose, entirely in the water up to her head with her twin calves on shore. what a treat, of course we forgot the camera. we headed back to duncan, with the wind picking up, it started to lightly rain. as we headed our north site on duncan, the rain came. i headed for the tarp, my wife headed for the tent. thunder rolled from lake to lake. it is such an awesome sound to hear. that evening it rained so hard our shoes were floating under our vestibules. the relief from the heat never came.


Day 5 of 7

Friday, August 30, 2013 today i wanted to hike the border trail to the eat of the falls, so after another hot buggy breakfast, off we went. as we headed to rose lake, we noticed the point campsite was open. i was thrilled to see that. on shore we went to check it out and it was a dream. there was a great breeze from all directions keeping the skeets at bay, great views, and we were ready for a change even if it was only a hop skip and a jump from our present site. dropping off my wife with the day pack, i bee lined it back to camp and literally threw all our gear in the canoe and after 2 trips, we were setting up our new camp, on a beautiful site. the hammock was up and the breeze was awesome, as we enjoyed our views and solitude. it was a great move!


Day 6 of 7

Saturday, August 31, 2013 after a great evening, we packed the day pack and headed to the border trail to hike east of the falls. we were so happy with our new home on duncan lake. the day was absolutely gorgeous. we hiked the trail all the way to the first trail camp site on rose lake. it was a good hike. the air felt great, and we were revived and thankful some change was in the air. the skeeters were still bad, but at this point, i didn't care anymore. we had been up here long enough that canoe country was doing it's magic, and making me feel so good. paddling back to our point site i knew our week was winding down, but we were so happy it was ending on a cooler note. we swam, ate supper and hung out in the hammock and watched the day turn to nite. a cloudy evening would keep the stars hidden as thunder rolled again from the west. as we lie in our tent, we both agreed if sunday was rain, we would head out.


Day 7 of 7

Sunday, September 01, 2013 another hot day was in store as we arose and began to pack up. we had endured a week of weather and bugs you would find in july. still, all in all it was a great week of swimming and staying cool. one of my wife's greatest pleasures in canoe country is swimming, and after a few trips of being cheated out of that, this time she had her fill. i was happy for that! we packed up the car, swatting sketters, headed to the lodge for some breakfast and headed home. my wife is such a great sport and outdoors person. my best friend and travel companion! on my solo trips, at times i wonder why i go without her. thanks hon for a great trip!


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