Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Quetico Forum
      1st ever Q trip ideas     

Author

Text

cyclones30
distinguished member(1986)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 01:04PM
My wife and I have been on a fair amount amount of BWCA trips and want to head north for the next one. My dad has been there many times but not for at least 20 years. He really liked Sarah and McIntire so I'd like to try to get there and he might even be able to come along. It seems like those are sort of between a LLC/Bottle entry and something out of PP.

Any insight into which way to get there? We like to fish and aren't afraid of travel but also if there's an easy way or a hard way to get somewhere we're not blind to the idea of an easier route. This might happen this Sept. or it could happen next year, not sure yet.

I know there are details on outdoors card, RABC or not depending on where you start, etc. etc. But....if those lakes are our goal, where should we try for a permit and how to get there? We'd take a tow to PP or tow to Bottle portage I'd assume either way. (although I'm sure Bottle is far more expensive?) Once we're set on a ranger station and entry then I can work on the rest of the details I think.
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(1988)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 02:48PM
Getting there from PP is doable in 1 day but it would be a tuffy. Coming from Iron I think would be 2 days unless you got a nice westerly wind. The first day is always more difficult with full packs and not being travel hardened.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1765)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 03:21PM
Easier to get to from Prairie. Sarah is reachable in a day but is some work. If you are up early the first day and reach Sarah you have an extremely short trip to MacIntyre. Both lakes are awesome and have numerous day trips available if you don’t want to move everyday. And there are a couple of nice campsites on both lakes.
Great plan if you go with it. I will be there myself in mid to late September.
cyclones30
distinguished member(1986)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 04:00PM
GraniteCliffs: "Easier to get to from Prairie. Sarah is reachable in a day but is some work. If you are up early the first day and reach Sarah you have an extremely short trip to MacIntyre. Both lakes are awesome and have numerous day trips available if you don’t want to move everyday. And there are a couple of nice campsites on both lakes.
Great plan if you go with it. I will be there myself in mid to late September. "


How are you planning on getting there? If it takes 2 days to get there that's fine. Portage wise, it looks far easier coming from bottle. Camp on crooked on night 1 and head in the next morning?
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1765)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 04:39PM
If you have an aversion to or dislike of portaging I would agree that Bottle would be easier to do. However, to get to Bottle itself is no small task in terms of time and money. Assuming you take a tow from Crane you will eat up some valuable time as it is not a short proposition with the stops and distance involved. I have not been towed to Bottle in several years but I know the cost is many times greater than a tow to Prairie. You would save on your customs pass cost and your daily fee would be cheaper entering at Bottle but it would still cost you more. I also suspect you would also add some time paddling compared to coming from Prairie.
There is no reason to push to get to Sarah in one day if you come out of Prairie. Some of the portages are a bit challenging but nothing terrible. There are plenty of options as to where to camp on your way if you decide to do it in two days. My bias is that is is just easier, simpler and more in my control if I go from Prairie but I recognize we all have different viewpoints.
What counts is that you just make it happen one way or the other.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(1268)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 05:08PM
GraniteCliffs: "
There is no reason to push to get to Sarah in one day if you come out of Prairie. Some of the portages are a bit challenging but nothing terrible.
"


PP to Sarah can be done in one day... if you are young, fit, and up for a challenge. The portages get more difficult as you get closer to Sarah. And you are tired as well. Did it once. I recommend taking two days.
cyclones30
distinguished member(1986)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 05:13PM
Speaking of PP, can you just get a tow to the ranger station and then it's all paddle from there? Or can a tow take you there and then get back in and take you farther? (even though it would technically be on the US side?)

It looks like from PP to Sarah area there are some options. Nest/Point and up, or north and in on the east side of Isabella and up? Or go farther on Basswood and up through Kett? We're not opposed to portaging at all but if one of those is better or worse that's what we're wondering. (given that wind and direction of wind can change plans anyway)

I was originally favoring Bottle due to me liking Iron, never seeing Rebecca Falls yet, liking Curtain falls, and fishing on Crooked on night one and maybe the last night headed out. But I do agree that PP sounds simpler and cheaper. (we just used a tow on Moose last week)
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1765)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 07:08PM
We always grab a tow early in the morning from an outfitter, where we sleep the night before in a bunkhouse. I use Williams and Hall but there are several on Moose that do a great job. I do like their bunkhouse and free shower when you return.
We get towed to Prairie and are there before they open for the day to insure we won't have to wait long to get going. We paddle from there.
Our route, without benefit of a map in front of me, is Prairie to Burke and then to North Bay. If you decide on two days to Sarah there are several nice sites on North Bay, although it would be a very short day since it would only be three short portages.
From North Bay we head out the NE corner up the stream to Isabella.From there a few no name lakes to get to Side. It is useful to have the official Quetico Chrismar(sp) map during this stretch to make sure you don't mess up and take a wrong turn on the portage heading to Side.
When you leave Side you have two options to get to Sarah: the longer single portage or the stream with a couple of short portages. I think most folks like the stream. I liked the single carry since I thought it seemed faster but now that I have aged into my late 60's the stream has become more attractive.
There are several nice sites on Sarah, including the very first island out from the Side portage and the island directly across the large bay to the west of the first island.
MacIntyre is very close and also has a couple of nice sites. One is the island on the north end of the lake and another is on the SW side of the lake. But there are several others as well. Just don't be camped on these if I am coming through!
Your return does has have some different options, which is nice. Kett Lake is one that I have liked.
I hope it all works out for you. Keep us posted.
06/19/2019 09:48PM
I've only done it once, the way GC went. Thinking back, it would have been rough to get to Sarah on day 1. We camped night one where North Bay turns west to Lost Bay. Went through Sarah on day 2 to get to Mac. It was May about a week post ice out and high water made paddling up the creek to Isabella pretty tough......in solo canoes. Isabella to Side is where the options start and the portages get tricky. I liked the stream portage option from Side to Sarah. Last I had read,(couple years ago), the Nest/Point route to Side was very flooded. We did not do the Heart Attack Hill portage to Side, but chose the middle route between there and the Nest/Point route. I thought it went well. But, all the routes can change with water levels and beaver activity from year to year
cyclones30
distinguished member(1986)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2019 10:13PM
Thanks everyone, if doing the North Bay to side options, I understand the long portage vs creek. But Phil you're saying there's other options before that? The hill or middle option or....

Thanks guys, this is exactly what I was looking for. Just last week we got our first tow ever from La Tourells to Indian portage to head for Knife area so I'm familiar with that now.
goblu79
member (6)member
 
06/19/2019 10:35PM
I've gone PP to Brent several times now. Getting to Sarah would be tough in one day. Doable, but hard. We generally camp on Isabella on day one..then make it to Brent day two. Wind on North Bay, Bayley Bay or Sarah can make the trip longer.

There are two routes through the noname lakes between Isabella and Side. I much prefer the more southern route that takes the beaver stream out of the far west side of the first noname lake after Isabella over the "up and over" portages. The beaver stream route is muddy, but much, much flatter. I also much prefer the stream route from Side into Sarah.

There is a fine campsite on an island in the northern part of McIntyre and a pretty decent one near the Sarah to McIntyre portage in the south.
Banksiana
distinguished member(2039)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2019 12:09AM
I've camped on Sarah first night quite a number of times with good weather (Bailey and North Bay reasonable)- have even managed to get halfway up Sarah by early afternoon. Probably been just as many trips in which the weather or my aged body has not been cooperative and I've arrived on day two. I agree with Goblu on routing.
06/20/2019 10:09PM
cyclones30
distinguished member(1986)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/21/2019 12:33PM
cowdoc: " "

Thanks! That's perfect
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next