BWCA Trip Report - Sawbill to Smoke Boundary Waters Trip Reports
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      Trip Report - Sawbill to Smoke     



member (47)member
06/14/2018 09:05AM  
New Trip Report posted by frlu0501

Trip Name: Sawbill to Smoke.

Entry Point: 38

Click Here to View Trip Report
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06/14/2018 10:08AM  
Thanks for sharing with us. I went to Smoke w/ my younger daughter when she was 7 a few years ago in mid June. We got the last open site on Smoke and caught enough Walleye for a fish fry.

Yes, Sawbill is a busy place with the Camground, Store, and 14 daily permits. It's even busier in July and August. I was there in August once just to use the showers after a solo through Kawishiwi Lake EP and there were cars lined up from the canoe landing out past the stop sign by the store trying to load and unload before/after trips.
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06/14/2018 09:18PM  
Although a busy EP, it's one of my favorites. Sawbill Outfitters does an excellent job and the campground is fantastic. I have been there in mid-June, mid and late July and mid and late September and it's never been very busy. I have always been there on a Sunday however.
distinguished member(1138)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/15/2018 02:39PM  
Thanks for the report... one of my favorite areas. I would also say that while it can be very busy with so many permits per day and the campground right there, I wouldn't eliminate it from our regular tripping locations.

Even in the height of the season, if you go in the right direction, you can find solitude. Head through Alton and Beth to get to the Lady Chain. Often both Grace and Phoebe are empty or nearly empty. Gorgeous lakes.

We've also been very lucky and headed up to Cherokee in early July and had the lake to ourselves for a full day out of a four day stay. But Cherokee is often full or close to full in July and August. Just hit or miss.

Sawbill itself can be very busy but there are times that the north end of the lake especially is quiet. People pass through on their way to other lakes and don't spend time there.
06/19/2018 11:21AM  
Thanks for the report!

I agree with Twins.

I took my father to Sawbill last year for his first trip, and we ended up spending the entire trip on the north end of Sawbill bouncing between campsites. Few campsites were occupied and most travelers stuck to the northeast. We spent entire days without seeing/hearing other paddlers.
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