BWCA Larch Creek EP80 Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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06/12/2021 01:31PM  
I have reserved a mid Aug. permit. If the water is low will I have to line my canoe up Larch ? I can handle most anything but my old knees can't handle deep mud. If the bottom is rocks, gravel or sand and the canoe floats I'm ok. I will watch the weather till early Aug. and if it's really dry ???
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distinguished member(5673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
06/12/2021 02:26PM  
Its been a few years but, I remember the bottom being sandy in the shallower sections.

I remember going in through Larch one particularly dry summer snd having no serious issues getting through. There were a number of beaver dams that seem to keep the water mostly floatable but, obviously, that can change over time.

I think your best bet will be to call a nearby outfitter just prior to your trip and get a current assessment.
distinguished member(4155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
06/13/2021 07:57PM  
Are you asking about going back upstream to the parking area? (up Larch creek) It flows from the EP east to the lake.
06/14/2021 12:46PM  
Up and back. The plan, subject to change, is to explore north to Saganaga Falls and back to the EP. I 'm mostly concerned with the narrow, marshy Larch Creek itself, as I say mud is the enemy. I'm trying to get as much info about this route as I can so if real low water becomes a problem I can change my plans.
06/14/2021 01:29PM  
Not sure why you'd paddle back from sag falls and do all those portages again! Arrange for a shuttle from the sag public landing back to your car at larch creek.
You'd have the paddle from sag falls to the landing, 4 Miles or so, no portages. Maybe wind And a few boats.
distinguished member(4155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
06/14/2021 05:12PM  
That's why I asked. Figure out a shuttle ahead of time so your vehicle is waiting for you at the end of the trail and you do a loop instead of out and back. Lots of outfitters right there to help the 15 min move or whatever it is.
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
06/25/2021 09:22PM  
We are going in Larch Creek in mid-July, working our way to Saganaga and coming out to the public landing at EP55. I too am anticipating Larch Creek being low. I have travelled Larch Creek many times over the years but have never had serious problems getting through it. When water has been low, the canoe bottom will scrape on some of the many logs laying in the creek and the vertical distance between the water at the beaver dams is greater making it harder to pull the canoes over. Going back up the creek in low water will require you to lift the canoes up the dams anywhere from 12 to 20 inches. The creek bottom is largely sand closer to the entry point with mud around the beaver dams. As you get near the lake and the creek widens, I believe the bottom is more muddy.

During the low water in 2010 I spoke with one of the outfitters who went out Larch Creek. It took her 3 hours to get through it and it was physically difficult due to the logs in the creek that she had to pull the canoe over (it normally takes less than 45 minutes).

If you can get a shuttle from EP 55 to EP 80, going out EP 55 would be way easier and the better part of a day faster.
06/26/2021 09:52PM  
Thanks to all for the info! The main reason I don't arrange a tow is because I don't like to make definite plans, if I like a campsite I may stick around awhile longer, same goes for a lake I want to explore further. No set plans after I put the canoe in the water.
member (14)member
07/18/2021 06:21PM  
How did your trip go? We are planning to go Aug 2nd but heard the Larch Creek Entry Point is closed :(
07/19/2021 04:45PM  
I'll be going in on Aug.12 so I'll see how you do. I too am worried by EP closures, fire ban and low water.
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
07/20/2021 01:30AM  
Just went in Larch Creek on July 10th. The creek had plenty of water but was not flowing due to 8 beaver dams that held the water real well. Absolutely no trouble going through the creek. In the past we had bottomed out on logs when there was not much water in the creek, but not this year.

Pulling over the beaver dams on the way in was relatively easy, with the steepest drop being about 2 feet. Most drops were a foot or so. We came out EP 55 so did not try to pull the canoes back up the beaver dams.

Road crews were installing a new concrete box culvert where Larch Creek passes under the Gunflint Trail. In doing so, they obliterated the old parking/loading/unloading area and we had to park farther east, one driveway east of the ranger station. Unloading/loading at Larch may be difficult, depending on how far along they are in the construction, but the creek was not closed when we were there. I suggest calling the ranger station in Grand Marais (if they have a phone number) or an outfitter to find out the status of EP 80 before going.

Finally, a shout out to Todd at Seagull Outfitters who loaned us a set of jumper cables when one of our cars would not start (and we did not outfit with Seagull--we brought our own gear) He saved the day for eight tired campers returning to civilization, all of whom are grateful to him and Seagull Outfitters.
member (8)member
08/15/2021 08:46PM  
Anybody have any more info on Larch creek? Is the parking area open now? Is it navigable mid-August this year?
08/16/2021 01:24PM  
Wish I could help you out PHP but I had to cancel my Aug. 12 permit. The triple wammy of low water , fire ban and poor air quality plus the storm damage to my house made me forgo this trip.
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