Moose is a boater's lake and I would add these two thoughts: if you want to canoe somewhere between 6:30 and 9am (when the resort boats and locals all head to Prairie Portage), be ready to get many wakes broadside. Most boaters are very respectful but there is always one idiot who will pass 100 feet away at full throttle. So if you need to go early, take a "tow". Returning afternoons and evenings are not as bad, as boats heading back are spread out from 2pm to almost 8pm. If you want to paddle from EP 25, sleep a little later!
Moose Lake was my first BWCA lake. I was meeting a buddy out on Wind Lake when I got caught up in a really bad storm while paddling across. Not having a good map, I could not tell where the portage was so I was bouncing around the campsites on the eastern shoreline until I found it. Before I found it, I had to take refuge under and overhanging pine tree as the rain came down in buckets! The trip out through Moose Lake two days later was much, MUCH better and prettier.
Yes, Moose is a terrific entry point and have used it many times over my trips to the BWCA and have never used a tow, as that kind of goes against my reason for being in the wilderness.
Challenge with Moose is as an exit point, there can be the significant west winds that will keep you working extremely hard into white caps all the way to the parking lot.
Long story short, any point has its pros and cons, but Moose gets you quickly into Knife which is a great border lake. Knife is also one of my favorite lakes to catch Smallmouth on topwater. MM
Jaywalker: "billconner: "I've never used Indian Portage, just paddle a little further and stay in canoe. "
We usually get a tow, and Indian Portage is where they drop you off. Otherwise I would paddle around it.
Out of 27 moose lake permits, there are 0 available on 6/5, and 1 on 6/6. Someone must have cancelled because they were all taken a week ago. I’m a bit worried about finding a site on Knife. We usually move around a bit. Last year we went to Knife from Snowbank, and used 3 different sites on Knife in the 7 days we were there. Probably not going to try that this year.
Went thru Moose for our first time last spring. Got a tow from La Tourels and stayed at their bunkhouse which was a really cool small cabin the night before our entry. All good things to say about those folks and services, we took tow up and back and glad we did.
Birch was busy both on our first day in and last day out. That route along the border between Indian portage and Knife is heavily used. Managed a few decent fish on Birch our last evening. We staged there so we could get our early morning tow back out the next day. Most sites were full that fri night on Birch
billconner: "I've never used Indian Portage, just paddle a little further and stay in canoe. "
By my estimate, its barely one extra mile to paddle around, so figure it boils down to whether or not I'm in the mood to stretch my legs.
Might be more permits available here than normal, with the scout base delaying opening and the boarder closed so no access to Q.
I've never used Indian Portage, just paddle a little further and stay in canoe.
I’ve been through Moose Lake three times, twice to Knife, once to the Man Chain. I remember my first time vividly. We were paddling out late morning and there were three Boy Scout groups on Indian portage. Both ends looked like a yard sale. Heading back there on 6/6.
Maybe because I've become a last minute planner, and there are plentiful Moose permits, I've entered Moose a lot. I also eschew tows. Its usually a two hour paddle for me. Have entered afternoon at times after drive from when I lived in Illinois, and the 5 sites along the strip of land between sucker and birch are all usually open. So its sort of first day instead of lodging in Ely and leaving early in the morning. Then head along birder in either direction.
We have used the Moose Lake entry 4 times, all 4 to enter and exit trips up to Knife Lake. Our preference has been to get a tow up to Birch Lake and travel along the border to Knife and then loop back south through Vera and Ensign for the return trip. With an early tow and a favorable breeze it is not too difficult to make it to the South Arm of Knife by early afternoon.
This weeks entry point of the week is EP 25 - Moose Lake.
Moose lake is a gateway to many great lakes for fishing such as Ensign, Knife, Birch, or the Quetico. A tow is often the choice to reach your destination more quickly.
Take a minute to report your experience on this thread, or drop a few campsite ratings or fishing notes from your previous trips.
Anyone headed up through Moose this year?
EP 25 Maps