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February 23 2024

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: 2
Elevation: 1432 feet
Latitude: 48.0709
Longitude: -90.4517
Duncan Lake - 60

Duncan base camping

by bjsmith
Trip Report

Entry Date: July 22, 2021
Entry Point: Duncan Lake
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 3

Trip Introduction:
Quick trip for the Beaver sisters


This was a short and easy trip for me and my two sisters, Bonnie and Cathy. Normally we have a group of four, but this was last minute and so the three of us went with a canoe and a stand-up paddle board. Cathy is still dealing with injuries sustained six years ago after a rafting accident in the Colorado River, so we’re all about taking it easy.

First night we rented a great cabin at Clearwater Lodge. It was hard to leave the cabin on our first morning!

Two very quick portages and light paddling and we grabbed the second campsite on Duncan to the west of the portage. It’s a beautiful site on a peninsula with a great canoe landing spot and swimming beach on the south side.

Second day, we paddled over to the Rose portage and did the BRT hike to the vista. It was a tough hike but so worth it and we had a great sense of accomplishment. On the way back, the winds picked up a bit and Bonnie had to jump into the canoe and we towed the paddle board back to the campsite. It stormed that night but we stayed safe and dry. We had read about the tragedy that happened across the lake with Craig Walz and his son in 2016 and thought of them frequently throughout our trip, but especially that night.

Third day we wanted to go back to the Rose portage to hike the CRT, but got half way across the lake and hit crazy winds. Thankfully we started out without the paddle board and all three of us in the canoe so we powered our way back to camp. We then sat on our point with our wine and watched three separate canoes capsize! One pair had to hang out by the portage for two hours until the winds died down. Later that night we were treated to a spectacular smoky sunset and a full moon.

It was great to be back after a four year hiatus!

~Clearwater Lake, Hungry Jack Lake, East Bearskin Lake, Duncan Lake


Lakes Traveled:   Clearwater Lake, Hungry Jack Lake, East Bearskin Lake, Duncan Lake,

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