BWCA First time BWCA trip EP 32 Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Chels
 
04/09/2019 05:09PM  
Hi Everyone!

My 15 year old son and I will be taking a trip leaving July 16th out of EP32. We plan on camping 4-5 nights. So far we've planned on ending at EP29 but are open to suggestions of a different exit point. We don't have any canoe or camping experience, but we booked an all inclusive package through Way to Go outfitters in Ely.

Any suggestions on fishing, hiking, wildlife, pictographs in the area? Also, is it safe to leave our stuff at our campsite unattended and go on a day trip to explore the area? If so, where do you recommend exploring? My goal is to make this a memorable mother and son trip!
 
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billconner
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04/09/2019 07:00PM  
I predict you'll both love it. I think very safe from people to leave stuff in campsites while day tripping, but bears (and mini-bears) can be of some concern.

Its a great area. I've done the Gull-Pietro-Camdre-Clearwater-Turtle loop twice - onceas a day trip - and woul go again. I'd like to camp on Clearwater. The Isabeka River into tip of Bald Eagle was fun and lots of wildlife. We went fro Gabbro to campsite before Quadaga for a night. Wolves and eagles.

Either side of triangle is good. East is easier but through Clear to west is a very nice lake.

Ive never been to 29 but seems interesting. Its well beyond BWCA border so im guessing camp sites are different - like on Triangle.

The direct route between 32 and 29 is only 12-13 miles - slightly more than my 10-12 miles a day average. So uou should have lots of time to travel quite a ways. Listen to your outfitter. They can tune into what you'd like.

BigCurrent
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04/09/2019 10:06PM  
S Kawishiwi is a great area and fishing can be very good if you fish current along the river. You could do a casual loop up through the river and onto Gabbro or Bald Eagle and Exit at L Gabbro. The two entry points are less than 2 miles apart. Gabbro has a lot of really nice campsites and fishing can be good, especially in the current between Gabbro and Bald Eagle Lakes.
Chels
 
04/10/2019 06:13PM  
Thank you for your information. We will look into doing that triangle. I'm glad to know that our stuff should be safe from theft, but we will be sure to watch out for the bears. After reviewing the email from the outfitters, I was mistaken it is EP 30 that we are planned to end at.
04/10/2019 08:28PM  
I'm not familiar with that area, but yes, you'll need to hang the food pack before you leave, and I don't worry about leaving my stuff at the site, with the caveat that I do take my smaller pack, which contains a small waterproof case with my wallet - cash, ID, CC's - keys, and phone, but you may be able to leave yours with the outfitter.

It will be quite the adventure for you and your son. The outfitter will provide you a lot of information and help, but given that it's all new to you, learning as much as you can before will make it easier and give you more time to enjoy the things you are there for.

Have fun!
billconner
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04/10/2019 08:32PM  
That makes sense. But suggestions still all pretty accurate. Nice route.
TuscaroraBorealis
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04/10/2019 08:59PM  
This trip report covers a good portion of the area you'll be paddling through. Perhaps it will give you some ideas or follow up questions?
BigCurrent
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04/10/2019 10:17PM  
Chels: "Thank you for your information. We will look into doing that triangle. I'm glad to know that our stuff should be safe from theft, but we will be sure to watch out for the bears. After reviewing the email from the outfitters, I was mistaken it is EP 30 that we are planned to end at. "

That is an interesting route. The South Kawishiwi flows south so that means you'll have to travel through Gabbro, Clearwater and Rock Island Lakes to hit the numbered lakes for your exit. I would spend as little time as necessary in the numbered lakes, maybe only the last night if you have to.

If you can alter your exit point I would look at #33 L. Gabbro.
billconner
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04/11/2019 06:30AM  
I would not recommend the Clearwater - Rock Island portage to first timers. I don't think there's enough current on the South Kawishiwi to be a concern. Check with USFS but I do not believe it's been maintained since Pagami Creek fire.
Chels
 
04/11/2019 02:29PM  
Our outfitter had suggested a route that would have us travel the Clear lake triangle, camp a couple nights and explore by day. Then North up the south Kawishiwi River to our exit point 30, camping and exploring along the way. Is the current in that river going to be too strong to paddle up?
We also plan on exploring the Gabbro-Bald Eagle lake and surrounding area on a day trip.
I have attached a photo of the planned route from my outfitter.... let me know what you all think.

billconner
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04/11/2019 08:23PM  
Good route. I'm sure there is a current, but it feels like a series of ponds or lakes, not a river. No problem paddling either way IMHO. Yes, between "ponds" there is a fall or short rush that you'd portage around going either direction.

I think you'd like Gabbro and Little Gabbro.
04/12/2019 02:47PM  
Wear long sleeves to get to water or lots of bug spray, mosquitos can be really bad on this portage.
 
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