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treehorn
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07/24/2019 11:11AM
We're getting a tow to as far as motors can go at the top of Jackfish Bay.

I'm trying to estimate the time from there to a few different spots along the river...

Wheelbarrow Falls, then Lower Basswood Falls, then Lower Basswood on up to Wednesday Bay of Crooked.

Obviously there's one long portage in there, and we'll be double portaging.

I guess I'm just having a hard time getting a sense of how far these distances are.

Thanks for any help.
 
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sedges
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07/24/2019 11:58AM
If you have maps for the trip just use the scale. If you don't have maps in hand yet use the online map on this site. There is a scale in the lower left hand corner. Zoom in or out until the scale shows a mile. mark off a few miles on the edge of a piece of paper and work it around your route. After you mark off your scale on the paper you can't zoom in or out as the scale would change. Time would depend on how organized you are on the portages. None of them are hard, but one is long. If your tow is early it should not be a problem to get through the river portion if you keep moving. After all the portaging you may not wish to paddle all the way to Wednesday Bay, but it is possible. A long first day. Personally, I enjoy the river a lot and would grab an open site if I found one on the way and make it a two day run to Wednesday Bay. Your outfitter can give you sound advise on this.

Note that the maps on this site do not show all the Basswood River portages. It only shows the first two and there are four. The third is a short one around a little rapids. The fourth is Lower Basswood Falls(don't miss this one!)
treehorn
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07/24/2019 12:45PM
Thanks...yeah I've noticed the online maps here along the river seem to be lacking some yellow lines...
AmarilloJim
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07/24/2019 01:15PM
There are a number of mapping sites where you can get exact distances.
treehorn
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07/24/2019 01:23PM
AmarilloJim: "There are a number of mapping sites where you can get exact distances."

Yes, I can do this on google maps...I guess I was looking for some first hand experience. "It took us X # of hours to get to Lower Basswood from the top of Jackfish."
scotttimm
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07/24/2019 01:40PM
treehorn: "AmarilloJim: "There are a number of mapping sites where you can get exact distances."


Yes, I can do this on google maps...I guess I was looking for some first hand experience. "It took us X # of hours to get to Lower Basswood from the top of Jackfish.""


We came from the other direction just last month - I can estimate our times for you...from what I remember up to Wheelbarrow Falls coming from Saturday Bay:

We had the campsite just northeast of the mouth of Saturday bay - and it took us about two hours to get to the site that looks like it is on the east point of a crab claw between Thursday and Friday Bays...not the one INSIDE Thursday, but the one just east of Cadillac Narrows. I highly recommend each of those campsites we stayed at. From that campsite it took us just about 4.5 hours to get to the bottom of the portage at Lower Basswood Falls, with a little pit stop at Table Rock. A guy told me it takes about 4 hours to get from Big Current (the "E" shaped island at the NE side of Thursday Bay to LBF. Of course, there are no portages From Saturday to LBF. From the top of LBF to wheelbarrow Falls, I'd guess maybe 20 minute paddle max? The wheelbarrow portage was in pretty crappy shape. Lots of poison ivy, broken glass in one part, and really mucky. That was the Canadian side. Didn't get a good look at the other portage.

Our rule of thumb was that, on the Fisher Map, my bent index finger knuckle took us 20 mins to paddle (which is about 1 and 1/4" long). Two dads and their 15 year old sons...we were moving at a pretty decent clip. We did double portage.
treehorn
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07/24/2019 03:47PM
scotttimm: "treehorn: "AmarilloJim: "There are a number of mapping sites where you can get exact distances."



Yes, I can do this on google maps...I guess I was looking for some first hand experience. "It took us X # of hours to get to Lower Basswood from the top of Jackfish.""



We came from the other direction just last month - I can estimate our times for you...from what I remember up to Wheelbarrow Falls coming from Saturday Bay:


We had the campsite just northeast of the mouth of Saturday bay - and it took us about two hours to get to the site that looks like it is on the east point of a crab claw between Thursday and Friday Bays...not the one INSIDE Thursday, but the one just east of Cadillac Narrows. I highly recommend each of those campsites we stayed at. From that campsite it took us just about 4.5 hours to get to the bottom of the portage at Lower Basswood Falls, with a little pit stop at Table Rock. A guy told me it takes about 4 hours to get from Big Current (the "E" shaped island at the NE side of Thursday Bay to LBF. Of course, there are no portages From Saturday to LBF. From the top of LBF to wheelbarrow Falls, I'd guess maybe 20 minute paddle max? The wheelbarrow portage was in pretty crappy shape. Lots of poison ivy, broken glass in one part, and really mucky. That was the Canadian side. Didn't get a good look at the other portage.


Our rule of thumb was that, on the Fisher Map, my bent index finger knuckle took us 20 mins to paddle (which is about 1 and 1/4" long). Two dads and their 15 year old sons...we were moving at a pretty decent clip. We did double portage."


Thank you!
cyclones30
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07/24/2019 07:30PM
We've done 2 trips through that portion, one each direction. The latest one we paddled from Mudro to the "top" of Jackfish Bay on day 1. Day 2 we camped in Wednesday Bay after a day of traveling in light rain showers. We double portaged the long one around the upper falls (didn't need to and looking back, we shouldn't have). The portage around Wheelbarrow on the Canadian side was washed out and muddy (it was raining) but otherwise short. The canadian one around LBF is easy just don't let your boat float over the falls when you're unloading stuff at the landing. I don't recall exact times it took to travel that distance but we ate an early lunch below LBF and we were at camp in Wednesday bay in early afternoon and weren't paddling hard. I'd say 6 hours or so.

If it's a nice day and you have an early tow (not sure how long it takes to get you to the drop point) you could get to Wed Bay on day 1. But...then you're not stopping to see all the cool sites along the way. Assuming you're getting dropped off in the morning, I'd tackle the long portage on day 1. Then camp somewhere between there and LBF area. Then you can head to Wed Bay and beyond on your next travel day.
07/24/2019 08:10PM
There is a gravel and rock Portage on American side for Wheelbarrow Falls. It's 1/4 mile before canada side back in narrow river section.
07/26/2019 12:33PM
Somewhere on this site you can download a BWCA overlay for Google Earth. You can get almost exact distances.
muddyfeet
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07/26/2019 09:24PM
The rapid upriver from wheelbarrow falls can be run fairly easily instead of portaging. Saves a bunch of time, and is quite enjoyable. My brother in law and I did it in an unloaded northwind18 in June.
 
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