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Rambo3489
member (8)member
 
10/16/2020 01:08PM
Hello All,

Planning a tandem trip for next year. My best friend from high school and I are planning to make a trip next September or so. I was planning on just staying in the BW but he is wanting to make the trip up to Quetico. He's been on the trip before with the scouts, this will be my first BW trip.

I could use a little help planning. As it stands now we will be at the Moose Lake EP on a Saturday. Likely spend the night there. Push off Sunday and start paddling towards Prairie Portage. I'm thinking we'll spend the night somewhere on the way up as we're not necessarily seasoned paddlers. (Its been a while for us both) Cross over Monday. From there is where I'm having issue. I want to buy Beyer's book for more definitive route options, but would like to purchase the book and the maps together to save on shipping.

That is where I'm looking for your help. Could you guys give me a little guidance on what lakes we might be paddling on so I can figure out what maps we need? We will likely be in Quetico for 5 days. I'd like to make a loop trip while in Quetico, but that isn't necessary. Just don't know what our realistic 5 night range is for me to get the correct maps and really start planning it out. Not planning to go at it for speed, more of a fishing/leisure/exploration type paddle.

Thanks,
Rambo
 
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Jackfish
Moderator
 
10/16/2020 01:47PM
For your trip to Quetico, the border will have to be open again (but you knew that already). Just throwing that information on your planning table.

Since you'll be arriving at Moose Lake on Saturday, you might consider staying in the bunkhouse at Latourell's. Their resort is right on Moose just a short distance from the boat landing.

Prairie Portage is only about a two-hour paddle from Latourell's. I highly doubt that you'd have to find a campsite between Latourell's and PP, but if that's what you want to do, go for it. Personally, I'd pay for a tow from Latourell's and they'll have you at PP in about 20 minutes. Take care of business at the ranger station and you're on your way into Quetico.

Lots of ways you could go from there. Buy McKenzie maps #8, #9 and #10. (Those will get you started with your planning. You may need others depending on how far north you want to go.) You should also buy a Chrismar Quetico map. Shows the complete park and is great for planning and using as a backup map in the canoe. You can never have too many maps.

Study the maps. Read trip reports. Ask lots of questions. You'll find a route that works for the number of days that you want to be in.
10/16/2020 04:41PM
Jackfish: "Buy McKenzie maps #8, #9 and #10. (Those will get you started with your planning. You should also buy a Chrismar Quetico map. Shows the complete park and is great for planning and using as a backup map in the canoe. You can never have too many maps. Study the maps. Read trip reports. Ask lots of questions. You'll find a route that works for the number of days that you want to be in."

Get the Chrismar map now. Spend the next couple months reading old trip reports and deciding on trip length (both days and miles) trip focus (fishing? distance? pictographs? crazy portages? base camping?) and start throwing ideas back & forth.

Late August/early September trips are our favorite--fewer bugs, fewer people (especially in the Q). Hope it's the first of many GREAT trips.

TZ
billconner
distinguished member(7368)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/16/2020 06:51PM
My most common entry - Moose to the Q. If you can get there by 2 or 3:00, paddle up Moose. Five sites on isthmus between Sucker and Birch are usually open. Take fresh food and get an early start to PP. You can schedule a last minute tow if weather is bad.

After that, Kashapiwi is a good target and loop over to the S chain via McNiece, Yum Yum, or Trant and down Agnes or to North Bay back to PP. Very doable, but solid five days.

Lots of other routes.

Chrismar is the first map to get, then either Mackenzie or Fisher. Not hard to figure out which maps online.
Rambo3489
member (8)member
 
10/16/2020 09:02PM
Yes I hope the covid stuff is out of here by next year.

Only a 2 hour paddle? I for some reason thought I remember reading it was the better part of the day.

Thanks for the info Bill. Didn't think to do that but if we can get there early enough it would probably pay to head for one of those campsites just to hopefully ensure an early cross into Quetico.

I will look into getting a Chrismar map just so I can start mapping out distances and such for routes. Then the appropriate Fisher/McKenzie maps.

Thanks for the info guys!
billconner
distinguished member(7368)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/17/2020 06:06AM
No idea of hours next year, but ranger station has opened at 7:30 am recently. You can get there by tow in morning for opening, i just like the easy afternoon paddle, saving tow and lodging charges, and being able to get further into Q.
Rambo3489
member (8)member
 
10/17/2020 10:41AM
billconner: "No idea of hours next year, but ranger station has opened at 7:30 am recently. You can get there by tow in morning for opening, i just like the easy afternoon paddle, saving tow and lodging charges, and being able to get further into Q."
That does sound like the way to go. I didn’t know campsite availability up around there. But there looks to be quite a few sites nearby as well if those 5 are occupied. Definitely wouldn’t mind missing the tow fee and paddling on up. After all paddling is part of the reason for making the trip.
cburton103
distinguished member (383)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/17/2020 07:06PM
If you have six days/five nights in Quetico and you want a leisurely pace with a good bit of fishing, I would consider going through North Bay and looping through the S-Chain, returning through Agnes and Meadows. You could spend a night on north bay (easy day from Prairie Portage), one night on the S Chain, a night on Agnes, and your final night back on North Bay or in Burke or Sunday Lake. That gives you the chance to have a layover day in case of bad weather or a desire for extra leisure, all while keeping all of your travel days fairly easy by typical standards.

Kahshapiwi is a fantastic lake as someone else mentioned, but I’ve taken friends through there on their first trip to the Q and I think they wondered if they were on vacation or if I was playing some sort of joke on them. Great Lake, but it’s a hard road in or out wherever you come from.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1859)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/18/2020 01:03PM
I would also suggest what a Cburton offered above. I would also agree with his reasoning as to why. Too often you see folks with limited experience being pushed too hard and that can suck the fun right out of a trip. I always thought it was better to take it relatively easy on your first few trips and gradually extend your range as time goes by.
I would also think about staying in a bunkhouse at an outfitters on Moose Lake on your first night. The pricing between a BW camping fee at Moose lake with its BW permit fee is very similar. And you get your own room.
I like to take the tow to PP very early in the am. I don’t much like the boat traffic passing right by me. And I like to be rested when I start paddling in Quetico. I do sometimes paddle back down Moose on my return so I don’t have to be beholden to a schedule for a tow return trip. I use Williams and Hall and the offer a free hot shower upon your return if you have stayed in their bunkhouse.
Whatever you do have fun
Rambo3489
member (8)member
 
10/18/2020 08:37PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. I definitely don’t want to push it on our first trip up there together. That’s where things can feel too hectic or become down right dangerous if gone too far. We’re both fairly competent outdoors but haven't paddled in a while. I’d much rather take it easier, leave more time for ourselves, and if we want to do more we could always paddle or take a hike around the lake we’re camped at.
RetiredDave
distinguished member (296)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2020 05:59PM
As others mentioned, the S chain might suit you. If you did get a tow, you could be on Shade lake for your first night without too much trouble. I would consider spending your second and third nights on Silence, it's an interesting lake to explore on your layover day. There are pictographs on Agnes not far from the Silence-Agnes portage, and you could spend the fourth night on the south end of Agnes (time to visit the falls and sit in the whirlpool), and an easy paddle (with two long but doable portages) for a fifth night on Burke.

The portage from Burke to Basswood is a breeze. The only possible difficulty on this route is that if the wind is blowing from the southwest (which it often does) the bay on Basswood can have whitecaps and four foot waves (this has happened twice with us), so get an early start on the final day back to Prairie Portage.

Good luck, happy planning, and have fun!

Dave
Jackfish
Moderator
 
10/27/2020 06:38PM
What RetiredDave said.

We camped at the site on Sultry that is right near the portage to Silence. Had a group of nine with the Boy Scouts and it suited us just fine. Caught a pile of smallmouth bass that night, too!
 
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