Boundary Waters Trip Reports, Blog, BWCA, BWCAW, Quetico Park

BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

June 20 2024

Entry Point 69 - John Lake

John 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 69 miles. Access from Little John Lake. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 1
Elevation: 1217 feet
Latitude: 48.0547
Longitude: -90.0569

Border Paddle

by SPOR
Trip Report

Entry Date: August 19, 2023
Entry Point: North Fowl Lake
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 1

Trip Introduction:
This was my first solo trip into the BWCA wilderness. I was told at the ranger station prior to launching that there was significant bear activity in this specific area of the boundary waters which definitely didn't calm my nerves about my first solo trip. My overall goal for the trip was to relax both at camp and during traveling time in addition to seeing some beautiful wildlife.

Day 1 of 4


[Saturday, August 19, 2023~McFarland Lake, Little John Lake, John Lake, Royal Lake, North Fowl Lake.] I got off to a very late start for the first day of the trip not reaching my entry point until nearly 5:00 PM. Entry in McFarland lake was well marked and easy to find. There were several houses on McFarland Lake which took away from the feeling of uninterrupted wilderness; however, these quickly disappeared as I got into Little John. Travel was smooth and the portages were relatively pain free until I got to Royal lake. The weeds were completely overgrown to the point that I was unable to see the path forward. I was able to find the next portage by using my compass to keep a constant direction and pulling myself and my canoe through the weeds. To complicate matters more I could tell that I was quickly losing daylight while I was lost in this overgrowth. After I got through this rough section I walked alongside my canoe and gear down the rest of the Royal River onto North Fowl as the water level was low. Got into my site just as the last bits of daylight were disappearing

 

Lakes Traveled:   McFarland Lake, Little John Lake, John Lake, Royal Lake, North Fowl Lake,


Day 2 of 4


[Sunday, August 20, 2023~North Fowl Lake, Moose Lake] I got off to an early start on day 2 and was able to get moving by 8:30. Unfortunately the wind on North Fowl was a strong westerly wind all day which made travel (especially solo travel) move at a snails pace. The portage between North Fowl and Moose Lakes was fairly flat and well taken care of. There were some weeds near the entry for the portage but it was much easier to find than the day before. Given the significant wind any my own exhaustion I stopped on Moose lake for the day near the middle campsites.  

 

Lakes Traveled:   North Fowl Lake, Moose Lake,


Day 3 of 4


[Monday, August 21, 2023] It rained overnight into this morning. It was not heavy rain but was constant for most of the day. Given the rain and slow progress with the wind the day prior I decided to stay in this camp and relax on the third day. I ended up reading and birdwatching from my site and had a small fire at the end of the day. This site overall was wonderful and large enough to accomidate a maximum sized group. The latrine was present in a strange location in this site (straight up a hill the latrine was overlooking the lake and site although you could not see clearly through to the lake due to tree cover.

 



Day 4 of 4


[Tuesday, August 22, 2023~Mountain Lake, North Fowl Lake, Royal Lake, John Lake, Little John Lake, McFarland Lake] With my last day I was feeling fairly tired from all the sitting and waiting the day prior so I got up and got an early start to the day with the goal to make it all the way back to my takeout point. Unlike day 2 with the severe wind there was almost no wind and the lake was glass when I set off in the morning. I made great time and ended up making it to my takeout point abour 2-3 PM which left plenty of time and energy for my long drive home.

 

Lakes Traveled:   Mountain Lake, North Fowl Lake, Royal Lake, John Lake, Little John Lake, McFarland Lake,

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