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easye515
member (13)member
 
03/26/2020 03:26PM
Hello all!

We are going on our annual BWCA trip in August and will have seven days. It will be a family of four, all jammed into our 20' Seneca. Good times.

We did the Lady Chain last year and had a blast. This year, we are looking for a trip more designed to get deep into the wilderness area, putting in somewhere off the Gunflint. We were thinking two days of paddling in, base camp for two nights, then paddle out two days (one night will be reserved for Grand Marais).

Any thoughts on a good route to take? Fishing is a plus. Anything not in a burn is a plus as well. and cliff diving is a big plus.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Michwall2
distinguished member(892)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/26/2020 03:36PM
I can think of at least 3 trips that could be done from the gunflint like that:

Option 1a: Entry 51 - Missing Link Lake - Destination is Little Saganaga Lake. Day one is Round Lake, Missing Link, Tuscarora Lake, Owl Lake to Crooked Lake. Day two is Crooked Lake, Tarry Lake, Mora Lake to Little Saganaga Lake. Little Saganaga Lake has good fishing. I have heard tell of good cliff jumping. And there is good day trip potential to the west and north. Not that you would need to day trip. Little Sag is big enough to keep you exploring for a while.

Option 1b: Entry 51 - Missing Link Lake - Destination is Mesaba Lake. Mesaba Lake is deep in the center of the Boundary Waters and it will take two tougher days of work to get there. The draw here is solitude. Fishing is iffy and there are no cliffs to jump from (that I know of, anyhow). There is good day tripping to the south and west where you might find better fishing. Day one is same as above Missing Link to Crooked Lake. Day two is Crooked Lake, Tarry Lake, Mora Lake, Whipped Lake, Fente Lake, Hub Lake, to Mesaba Lake. Both will be long days and with tough portages.

Option 2: Entry 50 - Cross Bay Lake - Destination is Frost Lake - Some people can do this in one tough day, but I like to break it up. Day one Cross River, Ham Lake, Cross River, Cross Bay Lake, Rib Lake, Lower George Lake, Karl Lake. If the wind is blowing, I would stop here and wait to get on Long Island Lake the next morning. Day 2 Karl Lake, Long Island Lake, Long Island River, Gordon Lake, Unload Lake, Frost Lake. Frost Lake has good fishing and nice golden sand beaches. No cliff jumping that I know of. You can day trip down the Frost River and back. Frost Lake can have solitude, but I have also been there with every campsite full. Good moose viewing chances here also.



easye515
member (13)member
 
03/27/2020 08:16AM
Thanks! I will check these out!
thinfin
 
03/27/2020 10:24AM
The best cliff diving ever is on Gillis if you're looking for some of the biggest jumps on the Gunflint. Don't get hurt though! Heck of a nice lake to fish and base camp at as well. Crooked has some smaller ones too and Brant even has a cliff jumping campsite. Skirts the burn, but never fully in it.

My week route was Brant entry point, Gotter-Green-Bat-Gillis-Crooked-Owl-Tuscarora-Missing Link-out at Round. Portages are short but tuff in the beginning, the rest are cake. These are lake trout dominated lakes and fish will be scattered and deep in August which can be challenging if you aren't familiar with summer lake trout fishing. The route is fairly short by distance, but can savor and relax if you have a week.
cyclones30
distinguished member(2197)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/27/2020 11:49AM
I like the Little Sag recommendation. What about starting in the Poplar area (a few entry points) and head for Winchell or that area. Long Island/Frost would be cool too.

If you haven't listened before, the Tumblehome podcast guys have terrific episodes on the Gunflint area since that's where they work and paddle. Routes, campsites, fishing, etc.

Don't be afraid to head east of the Gunflint either (Pine, Caribou, etc)
easye515
member (13)member
 
03/27/2020 12:08PM
Looking at a map of this area, that winchell area did looking interesting. anyone spent much time there?
Michwall2
distinguished member(892)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/27/2020 01:11PM
easye515: "Looking at a map of this area, that winchell area did looking interesting. anyone spent much time there? "

I thought of that area for you, but your request to get 2 days "deep" into the BW ruled It out. I thought you were looking for more solitude. Winchell is a busy lake that is really only one day from either Lizz Lake (Entry 47) or Brule Lake (Entry 41). It does have cliffs, however, I have not heard of any cliff jumpers there.

A route you might consider from the Poplar Lake area is:

Entry 47 - Lizz Lake (Poplar Lake to Lizz to start) - Destination is the east end of Long Island Lake. Day one. Poplar Lake, Lizz Lake, Caribou Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Gaskin Lake. Day two. Gaskin Lake, Henson Lake, Omega Lake, Kiskadinna Lake, Muskeg Lake, Muskeg Creek, Long Island Lake. (Instead of going through Henson, you could head south to Winchell Lake before hooking up with Ogema Lake.) There are two nice campsites on the very east end of LIL. This is a long paddle from the west end of LIL and the routes through there. Most people don't mix the two areas, which gives you some solitude here. The island site is the better of the two, but I have stayed at both. This is your base camp. Day Trip to Frost Lake or Cherokee Lake. Some cliff jumping can be found on Cherokee Lake. Headed out - Day 5 Long Island Lake, Cave Lake, Ross Lake, Sebeka Lake, Banadad Lake. Day 6. Banadad Lake, Rush Lake, Little Rush Lake, Skipper Lake, Poplar Lake. This route passes through several burn areas in various stages of regrowth. If you don't like the burn areas then this is not the route for you.

mschi772
distinguished member (379)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/27/2020 02:52PM
cyclones30: "Don't be afraid to head east of the Gunflint either (Pine, Caribou, etc) "
While I'd encourage everyone to take a trip over there--Johnson Falls is a must-see, Clearwater Lake itself is worthy of a visit, I hear Rose Falls is very cool and plan to see that soon, proper loops with little to no backtracking previously-visited areas are possible--there's no such thing as "2 days deep" in the Vento unit.
 
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