cyclones30: "bobbernumber3: "You might be better starting at Wood and going until you find the first open campsite. And take it.
On day 3 or 4, I think chances of finding a site are better around Pipestone/Newton (c-clockwise route) vs. finding a site around Indiana/Good/Wood (clockwise route).
Thank you all for your input! Glad to hear we're on the right track, and I'll probably tweak things a bit based on your tips. Understood that these waterfalls won't be as scenic as Johnson Falls, which we visited last time around.
Looks like a reasonable trip to me. During busy times I get moving early and camp by early, early afternoon. Last 4th of July, I actually camped at 11 am because a site open up in front of my eyes on a lake that was otherwise full. Then I just day tripped for the afternoon.
bobbernumber3: "You might be better starting at Wood and going until you find the first open campsite. And take it.
But going the way they're planning, they'd have 2 days in already with plenty of sites to get closer to their way out. They're not going Fall to Indiana on Day 1
You might be better starting at Wood and going until you find the first open campsite. And take it.
Starting at Fall Lake, if you get to Indiana and Good and sites are full, Wood Lake would also likely be full and you are stuck.
I think site availability will be better on Pipestone Bay and Newton Lake and you won't be forced to backtrack or end your trip early for lack of a site.
Not a bad route, plenty of sites for most of your route...but yes 4th of July is busy season. I'd be looking for a site by early afternoon, not by sunset.
In those busier times, just get up early enough (whatever that means for you) and get moving. You'll have no problem making your miles by lunch as long as weather allows. That gives you all afternoon/evening (it's not dark till like 9 or later that time of year) to enjoy your new camp/lake and explore and enjoy. Rinse and repeat whenever you choose to move next. The longer you dilly-dally the morning or during the day on a travel day the more likely it is a site may be taken by the time you get to it later in the day.
You could do better in the waterfalls/pictos area as far as routing but it all depends on where you want to go, how far, how hard, etc. If you're on the ball when the permits open I don't think you should have an issue getting a Fall lake permit for your date.
We are 2 adults who are not experienced wilderness campers (just car camping). We have done day trips in the BWCA and covered 8+ miles per day with some tough portages. We are thinking about trying the route below for our first overnight trip (here is a rough map: https://imgur.com/a/BWcB29T).
Does this seem like a good, realistic route or is it too aggressive? I understand that parts will have motorboat traffic but I don't mind as long as we get some peace and quiet. We like paddling, swimming, wildlife, relaxing at camp, and scenic views (waterfalls, pictographs, etc.). We aren't fishing.
Is there a big risk of checking 3-4 campsites and not finding one open by sunset? Getting stuck somewhere like Good or Indiana Lake with only a few sites makes me nervous. We're entering around the 4th of July (assuming that we get a permit), which I imagine is busy season.
Day 1 (5 Miles): Enter Fall Lake (EP24). Portage into Newton; camp near Pipestone Falls.
Day 2 (6-7 Miles): Continue into Lewis Narrows. Cross 2 portages going east and camp in the middle of Basswood.
Day 3 (5-6 Miles): Portage into Good Lake (directly or with a stop in Indiana).
Day 4 (5 Miles): Cross Hula into Wood Lake. Exit at the south end (EP26).