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heavycanoe
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07/26/2018 09:48AM  
With a Southlake entry permit, can I enter through Mayhew and Topper to get to south lake? would that be a violation of the entry permit?
 
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heavycanoe
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07/26/2018 10:14AM  
it looks like maybe you could enter at the trail head to Mucker lake trail and catch the portage to topper there? That would be my thought. Is this legal?
bposteve
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07/26/2018 10:48AM  
It's my understanding that this is ok to do, but I'm telling you that portage from Mayhew down to South will be a bear. Especially if you plan on taking the same way out. If you're just looking to cut down on the paddle in I'd suggest looking into a tow across Gunflint. The paddle from the end of Gunflint lake to South isn't too bad.
07/26/2018 11:20AM  
I’ve used topper as a entry to south. The portage is extremely steep, I needed my son to hold the stern of canoe to keep me stable. I wouldn’t want to try going up this. If there is a steeper portage anywhere I don’t know about it.
bposteve
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07/26/2018 11:32AM  
Yep, I meant Topper. Would be fun on skis though?
07/26/2018 11:37AM  
Skis no, snowshoes, after a few too many drinks, yes.
Gadfly
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07/26/2018 12:32PM  
I have day tripped down to South for fishing in the winter while base camping on Topper. I could not imagine portaging up that hill with a canoe. I am not sure what the portage is like from Gunflint to South but I am guessing it is not nearly as steep.
heavylunch
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07/26/2018 01:11PM  
I have done the portage with a canoe down and up again and while it is steep, it is doable if you are generally "sure footed" and in decent shape. There isn't much space for parking at the portage into Topper lake but both times I was there, there was a spot.
07/27/2018 04:35AM  
The pàddle down gunflint I never thought was that bad. Wind? Do a tow maybe. The portaging is easy peasy. I always bunked at gunflint lodge and there are good options there too such as canoer cabins if you have a small group. My biggest wind issues were on south lake itself over the years.
heavycanoe
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07/27/2018 08:52AM  
Yes, I was thinking that would be an easier route in, but I know those bluffs along South and Rose so maybe that is not a great option. I have will to consider a tow. I have taken 10 - 15 trips into the BWCA and so far I have not gone to the same area twice. My favorite trip was gunflint - south - rose to hungryjack outfitters dock. South is a beautiful lake - Rose falls is my favorite falls in the BWCA and the hike along the bluffs on rose are impressive.

There were also other factors - it was my first trip with one of my kids my daughter was 11 - it was the first week of June in a late spring so no mosquito's until they all hatched on our last day. The Small mouth bass were still on there beds and just killing topwater baits. The weather was really great. Those parts I can't duplicate. However, this is a trip I could retry.

Hungryjack outfitters dropped us halfway down gunflint so we only had to paddle half of that lake, but it was still a long first day paddle with an 11 Year old.

Memories! Thanks for the help.
07/27/2018 09:41PM  
I would enter from Gunflint for sure.
I believe there was considerable storm damage in the South Lake area a couple years ago so I don't know how passable the portage from Topper will be.
 
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