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IcePaddler
senior member (82)senior membersenior member
 
05/15/2019 05:52AM
I have a trip coming up in a month (June 19th). Heading in through Mudro and staying for three nights. We were planning on staying on Horse the first night, then heading up the Horse River and staying at a campsite around Basswood Falls the 2nd night. The group of guys I go with have always base camped so I thought it would be a nice change of pace for them to move camp daily.

I’m starting to have second thoughts about packing up and moving on to Basswood Falls the 2nd day. I would love to camp by the falls, but I know that is a popular area. I wouldn’t want to get all the way up there only to find no open sites and have to turn around and possibly lose our site on Horse!

Are we better off just day tripping up to the falls and pictographs? If so about how long does it take to make a day trip to that area and back from Horse? We would like to have enough time to fish for a little while at least. We are also running aluminum and fiberglass canoes.
 
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Grandma L
distinguished member(5113)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/15/2019 08:48AM
Horse Lake up to the falls is about 7 miles. - So at 2.5 miles per hour - (average pace) just under 3 hours. It all matters how hard you want to work and how fast you all paddle. The falls are beautiful.
treehorn
distinguished member (368)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2019 09:06AM
If you do move camps to BF area, you could consider arranging a tow from the top of Jackfish Bay out to Fall Lake/EP 24. Because otherwise your exit day from BF out to Mudro is a fairly long/tough day, and we all know that's the worst day to work hard - when you're just trying to get out of there.

That will cost some $$, but there are several outfitters that could do it for you.

I certainly wouldn't avoid trying to camp there on the off chance all the sites are taken...that's always going to be somewhat of a risk, but the odds are good at least something will be available. If you want to camp there, go do it.
schweady
distinguished member(6601)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/15/2019 09:07AM
In August 2012, our family based on the island site at the north end of Horse Lake and made a day trip to take in the falls and the pictographs north of there. All told, with a stop for gawking and photos at both spots and a quick lunch on one of the campsites on the way back, it was a very relaxed 8-hour tour, round trip. Most enjoyable day I have ever spent in the BWCAW.
Banksiana
distinguished member(1788)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2019 10:17AM
IcePaddler: " We were planning on staying on Horse the first night, then heading up the Horse River and staying at a campsite around Basswood Falls the 2nd night.

Are we better off just day tripping up to the falls and pictographs? If so about how long does it take to make a day trip to that area and back from Horse? We would like to have enough time to fish for a little while at least. We are also running aluminum and fiberglass canoes. "

First it's "down" the Horse River to Basswood Falls; the Horse flows into the Basswood River. It's about a two and a half hour trip from the start of the Horse to the Falls if you double portage. There are lots of camps in the area- (don't forget about the camps upriver of the Falls on the Basswood River) you should be able to find something. From the falls area back to Mudro is an easy travel day especially at the end of a trip.
05/15/2019 01:14PM
As long as you get an early start you should be fine. I'd consider getting to the falls around noon at the latest. Not to scare you but one year we arrived around three and couldn't find a site. Not wanting to back track we ended up camping on the Canadian side, illegally (not my choice). On future trip we arrived earlier and had a few more options.
Gopher02
distinguished member (154)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2019 02:25PM
Good post and good topic. Interested in your results end of June as I will be doing this same trip end of July. Please report back post trip as able. Thanks
Bushman
distinguished member (138)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2019 06:25PM
My first trip ever on day one we went from Mudro to a site just north of the falls. We hit the water around 7:30 am and arrived at camp around 2 pm. It was the 4th site north of the falls. #1550
It was 90 degrees that day and we were glad to make camp.

I would go for it. Camp on horse lake the first night and shoot down the river and camp near the falls the second night. It will only take you a couple hours to get down the river. Once you portage around the falls the world is your oyster.

It is extremely beautiful down the Basswood River and all the way into Crooked Lake. From any camp north of the falls you can travel all the way up to Wednesday and Thursday bays in short time and you can fish all the way. We caught a bunch of fish just trolling crankbaits as we paddled north into Crooked.

You can stop and see Table Rock and be sure to fish right from shore. In a few short minutes we caught smallmouth, walleye and pike casting cranks right next to table rock while we stood in knee deep water.

If you wanted to push a little you could camp near LBF the first night and somewhere up in the Wednesday or Thursday Bay the second and then make your way back to Horse lake for the last night.

My trip report below



Mudro Trip
Abbey
distinguished member (149)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/18/2019 09:51PM
We entered at Mudro on June 3 last year. We had heard how busy LBF can be, so we hit the water early and hoped for the best. When we arrived at LBF about 2p, all the sites were open. We were very surprised, and one of the sites filled later, but not all. We may have just had really lucky timing, and early vs late June will likely be different. Still worth it though. Even if you need to push further upstream or downstream to find a site, it’s a great area. Lots of great fishing through there too.
IcePaddler
senior member (82)senior membersenior member
 
05/18/2019 10:27PM
Abbey: " Even if you need to push further upstream or downstream to find a site, it’s a great area. Lots of great fishing through there too. "

That’s part of the reason I would like to camp by the falls instead of day trip there. I would like to have time to get in some fishing by the falls. I’ve heard good things!
old_salt
distinguished member(2430)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/18/2019 10:43PM
Why not start early and go to the falls on first day? If you go down Crooked, camp at Thursday or Friday bay.
DougD
distinguished member (120)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/19/2019 08:47AM
If all of the sites are full at the falls, just keep paddling past the pictographs and you should have abundant quality sites available with no portages.
 
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