BWCA Least used areas of the BWCA? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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joewildlife
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06/25/2017 08:33AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
In general, any comments on what are the least used areas of the BWCA? Not asking anyone to give away any secrets, or even individual EP numbers. Might not even go as I'm a Quetico snob for the most part. But it would be good to have a plan B if any issues with permits, cost, or border crossing pop up on future trips.

I know, I know. I should do the research myself.

Like everybody, I like getting away from the crowds and am willing to work for the good fishing of the more remote spots.

Your input is appreciated.
Joe
 
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billconner
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06/25/2017 09:55AM  
Well, I just returned from 7 nights EP 14 to LLC and the north most small lakes, and back through Snow Bay and Loon - I think we saw only three other parties untill on way out at last portage to EP. Saw at most two occupied sites. All alone on Lower Pauness last night. I have been on Q trips and seen many more.

PMAs would offer solitude.

No question by my observing and listening to several outfitter owners and Ely merchans use continues to age and decline.
brantlars
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06/25/2017 10:57AM  
Any EP in winter
06/25/2017 12:17PM  
LIS south...
QueticoMike
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06/25/2017 01:04PM  
PMAs
joewildlife
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06/25/2017 01:30PM  
My first trip was LIS North, and it was a great trip.
No need for sarcastic comments, but touche'
I'm not one of those people who would like to see use decline because of my own selfish reason of wanting solitude. If people stop going to BWCA, they stop caring about the BWCA.
My question was posted because I know LESS about BWCA than Quetico and wanted to get pointed in the right direction, that is all.
Joe
nicek
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06/25/2017 03:05PM  
EPs: 4,6,7,8,9
The entire "island" of BWCA south west of Echo.
Long portages, not many " 5" star campsites. PMA in this area. It has different flavor and character. Been there twice and will be back again.
06/25/2017 03:22PM  
Adams and Boulder area.
joewildlife
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06/25/2017 03:32PM  
Can you explain what the PMA is and how is it different? Same EP permit requirements and cost?
QueticoMike
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06/25/2017 04:00PM  
PMA Thread

Here is the link to the PMA thread up above..............
Savage Voyageur
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06/25/2017 04:51PM  
Find a primitive management area that is a dead end. Reserve that area at the ranger station for camping. You will be the only one there.
Grandma L
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06/25/2017 08:04PM  
quote cowdoc: "Adams and Boulder area."
+1
06/25/2017 09:37PM  
The least used areas are the ones that take the most effort and time to reach - long, tough portages and more than a good day's travel to reach. If it's not a "destination" for fishing or scenery - waterfalls, pictos, etc. - this is even more true.

There are also time factors - weekends are busier than weekdays, especially after summer vacations are over and school starts.

The area Bill mentioned sees much lighter use than some nearby areas like LLC. It may be busy near the entry and exit, but beyond a good day's travel, the crowd thins out dramatically. I saw few people between Loon and Agnes on a loop from EP #14 to #16.

Once you pass Malberg, it's a lot less busy. Adams, Boulder, and beyond is little used.

We did a trip continuing NE out of Malberg to Little Sag and back down to exit at Sawbill. It was busy up to Polly and once we got close to Sawbill, but in between we really almost saw nobody. We laid over a day on Little Sag and saw no one.

I've never seen Tuscarora crowded either.
06/26/2017 01:45AM  
quote Grandma L: "quote cowdoc: "Adams and Boulder area."
+1"



+2
JeepGirl and I stayed on Adams over the Memorial weekend and we were the only people on the lake. We did see a couple of canoes paddling the lake without gear on day trips. There were several groups on Beaver and we didn't see anyone headed up to Boulder. A paddler that we passed on the way into Beaver said Boulder was wide open when he left.

Beautiful lakes.
06/26/2017 06:25AM  
We've taken a few trips to the Wine and Mesaba area. Once you cross the portage from Lujenda to Zenith you will have plenty of solitude.
Guest Paddler
 
06/26/2017 10:56AM  
Anyplace you can walk, rather than paddle.
TuscaroraBorealis
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06/27/2017 07:07AM  
We've found that areas that have been hit by one of the 3 (Cavity, Ham & Pagami) fires tend to be less used.

One example
ParkerMag
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06/27/2017 02:07PM  
We've done the string of lakes north of Boulder from Elton to Fraser. Appeared as lightly used as anywhere I've seen in the BW.
Jackfish
Moderator
 
02/23/2021 12:54PM  
joewildlife: "Might not even go as I'm a Quetico snob for the most part. But it would be good to have a plan B if any issues with permits, cost or border crossing pop up on future trips."
Joe had some foresight with his question. Thought it worthwhile to bump this to the top.
quark2222
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02/23/2021 07:33PM  
TuscaroraBorealis: "We've found that areas that have been hit by one of the 3 (Cavity, Ham & Pagami) fires tend to be less used.


One example "


Looks like Chernobyl.

Tomster
02/23/2021 09:39PM  
quark2222: "TuscaroraBorealis: "We've found that areas that have been hit by one of the 3 (Cavity, Ham & Pagami) fires tend to be less used.



One example "


Looks like Chernobyl.

Tomster"

Is that a Teddy Bear that’s being snuggled?
marrowoflife
member (43)member
 
03/01/2021 11:24AM  
billconner: "Well, I just returned from 7 nights EP 14 to LLC and the north most small lakes, and back through Snow Bay and Loon - I think we saw only three other parties untill on way out at last portage to EP. Saw at most two occupied sites. All alone on Lower Pauness last night. I have been on Q trips and seen many more.

PMAs would offer solitude.

No question by my observing and listening to several outfitter owners and Ely merchans use continues to age and decline."

How do you guys like this westernmost La Croix area? Always thought it would be a good trip, campsites overlooking big water and the border that you can trace north. But the idea of motors on the Canadian side have kept me away...
03/01/2021 11:35AM  
marrowoflife: "How do you guys like this westernmost La Croix area? Always thought it would be a good trip, campsites overlooking big water and the border that you can trace north. But the idea of motors on the Canadian side have kept me away..."

It's a cool area, but know that the US side of LLC has motors too, south of Snow Bay. Last May we were on LLC east of Snow Bay and occasionally heard/saw motors on the Canadian side, and I think those resorts were slow or even closed. So it's got to be more in a non-pandemic year. Maybe others can chime in...
LarrySw45
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03/01/2021 04:16PM  
Is that a puppy or a Teddy bear you are cuddling with ?
{:>)
03/02/2021 11:29AM  
As long as they aren’t jet skis, fishing boats on lac la croix, basswood or mountain lake have never bothered me. Like the howl of a wolf pack, the cry of a loon, the sound of a motor boat is a part of the northern Canada experience.

I’ve always thought the area south of the echo trail as the most remote in the bwca, specifically big rice and big moose lakes, most probably due to the big portages.



the beginning of the portage to big rice lake, long but surprisingly in good condition ten years ago
singlebladecanoe
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03/06/2021 02:36PM  
I like the sounds of the PMA's. I checked out the link to the other post about them. The PDF's of the maps for those area's are no longer available. Anyone have them elsewhere that I can take a look at? Or is it the whole area that is southwest of the park boundaries such as Birch Lake, Bear Island, etc?
03/06/2021 04:21PM  
singlebladecanoe: "I like the sounds of the PMA's. I checked out the link to the other post about them. The PDF's of the maps for those area's are no longer available. Anyone have them elsewhere that I can take a look at? Or is it the whole area that is southwest of the park boundaries such as Birch Lake, Bear Island, etc?"

Not sure if you saw these...but in case not...

PMAs
singlebladecanoe
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03/08/2021 07:16PM  
sns: "singlebladecanoe: "I like the sounds of the PMA's. I checked out the link to the other post about them. The PDF's of the maps for those area's are no longer available. Anyone have them elsewhere that I can take a look at? Or is it the whole area that is southwest of the park boundaries such as Birch Lake, Bear Island, etc?"


Not sure if you saw these...but in case not...


PMAs "



I had not. Thank you.
03/09/2021 07:01AM  
You are welcome!
03/09/2021 10:45PM  
Any area one forth of a mile from any lake and any portage trail. Especially if you are in the center of the BW and not there during any hunting season.
03/11/2021 08:29AM  
jwartman59: "As long as they aren’t jet skis, fishing boats on lac la croix, basswood or mountain lake have never bothered me. Like the howl of a wolf pack, the cry of a loon, the sound of a motor boat is a part of the northern Canada experience.


I’ve always thought the area south of the echo trail as the most remote in the bwca, specifically big rice and big moose lakes, most probably due to the big portages.



the beginning of the portage to big rice lake, long but surprisingly in good condition ten years ago"


I'd agree with this. I didn't canvas the BWCA last year but I definitely ran into a lot of fellow explorers on the more traveled routes such as the Monument portage (egads!) and Snowbank EP. The western LLC area was dubbed as the quietest place in the BWCA by the outfitter who dropped me off at Snow Bay. He was only partially kidding! There were other explorers up in that end but there were places such as Lady Boot Bay and Fish Stake narrows where the crowds evaporated.

I've never explored below the Echo road but others have. They've reported less traffic in those areas. I would imagine PMAs would be another good set of destinations that would yield less traffic and more isolation.
 
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