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Cvendel
member (14)member
 
05/10/2021 11:37AM  
Planning a trip in via South Lake, I have heard that going in through Topper is the way to go? Anyone been through South? Looking to go into Rose
 
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bottomtothetap
distinguished member(929)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/10/2021 12:31PM  
I entered from North Lake via Height of Land portage. When we were there, the campsites to the immediate right, around the corner from the portage landing as you get to South were quite nice, though I'm aware of a storm a few years ago that hit them pretty hard so I don't know if they still have the same appeal. We went from South to Rose in about half a day--a pleasant paddle. As you enter and exit Rat Lake, keep an eye out for some nice photo ops with the palisade on the south side of Rose in the background. The campsite nearest the stairway portage from Duncan is also nice with some great views to the east at dawn when the sun comes up over the sawtooth hills in the distance.
cyclones30
distinguished member(3899)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/10/2021 12:37PM  
Tumblehome podcast has an episode or express episode on that lake/entry point. Lots and lots of info there
Cvendel
member (14)member
 
05/10/2021 01:11PM  
I heard the Podcast as well!
robwaddell
 
05/10/2021 03:30PM  
I'm planning on going in that way around Memorial Day. I've heard/read the horror stories of coming out through Topper because of how steep it is. So our plan is to enter South via Topper and leave through Duncan.
Lightfoot
distinguished member (488)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/10/2021 05:49PM  
I didn't realize that was a valid entry point. I thought the South Lake entry was only accessed from North Lake via Gunflint. Where is the parking for entering through Topper?
Wolfee
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
05/10/2021 07:56PM  
Did South to Rose last year in mid-May as a solo. Paddled from Gunflint lake. Checked out the Topper portage and the parking lot while I was there. That portage is indeed steeeeeep. I am personally glad I did the paddle, Gunflint through Little Gunflint and North is a cool little paddle. With big winds though, would definitely do Topper instead. There is not much parking for the Topper route - I'd say 3 vehicles. If it's full, which it might be since it is a BRT parking access, you might have to drop your equipment and park your car down near the Gunflint trail (about a half mile).
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(5058)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/10/2021 08:18PM  
If you haven't done so already? Check out the maps section
deepwater
member (49)member
 
05/11/2021 06:45AM  
I have only ever accessed South via topper. I have been on North via Gunflint and little gunflint. I can get from my vehicle to south lake in less that 2 hours. Paddling across Gunflint Lake will at least take 2 hours.

I vote topper. You access is through Mayhew Lake Road.
05/11/2021 11:42AM  
The portage from topper is very steep. Unique in the bwca. It’s doable but use caution, I had my son hold the stern of the canoe i case I slipped
Cvendel
member (14)member
 
05/12/2021 10:52AM  
Thank you very much for the insight! I will enter Via Topper!!
Cvendel
member (14)member
 
05/12/2021 10:53AM  
Thank you very much, I agree with the consensus, I will enter via Topper...
Cvendel
member (14)member
 
05/12/2021 10:54AM  
Thank you for the insight, I wanted to end up on Rose, we did the Stairway portage last year, but I am taking my 73 year old mother and want to avoid the Stairway portage AND the initial two hour paddle via Gunflint...I have seen those nice camp sights on Rose, hopefully we can find one this year...
Mocha
distinguished member(7670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/12/2021 07:50PM  
You could check with gunflint lodge to see if they would give you and your mom a tow to the east end of gunflint lake. The paddle thru little gunflint is so pretty, plus the historic value of the height of land portage, not hilly at all.

The portage to topper is also steep and rugged with rocks and roots. If you choose this route be sure your mom has a walking stick or something.

Are you returning the same way?
05/13/2021 09:01AM  
If you are avoiding the stairway portage at rose because it’s steep you will definitely NOT want to take the topper portage. Stairway outage has steps and is well maintained, topper has scree and roots that slip out from under your feet. It’s similar to the rocks slopes at the base of mountains out west or the bluffs along to Mississippi
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1373)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2021 09:38AM  
jwartman59: "If you are avoiding the stairway portage at rose because it’s steep you will definitely NOT want to take the topper portage. Stairway outage has steps and is well maintained, topper has scree and roots that slip out from under your feet. It’s similar to the rocks slopes at the base of mountains out west or the bluffs along to Mississippi "

How is the portage from Mayhew road into Topper in comparison with Topper to South?
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(5058)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/13/2021 10:28AM  
thegildedgopher: "jwartman59: "If you are avoiding the stairway portage at rose because it’s steep you will definitely NOT want to take the topper portage. Stairway outage has steps and is well maintained, topper has scree and roots that slip out from under your feet. It’s similar to the rocks slopes at the base of mountains out west or the bluffs along to Mississippi "


How is the portage from Mayhew road into Topper in comparison with Topper to South?"


Night and day.

The trail from the road to Topper isn't necessarily a walk in the park but, its not the goat path that Topper to South is. Road to Topper
shock
distinguished member(4073)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/13/2021 10:56AM  
i walked into south through topper 1 winter and yes it is steep , but we weren't portaging a canoe , just light packs for a day.
 
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