BWCA EP 14 Little Indian Sioux N Or EP 44 Ram Lake Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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06/20/2021 08:19AM  
I am trying to decide between EP 14 and EP 44 Ram Lake for a week long trip next month. I am trying to avoid as many people as I can and was wondering which is better for solitude.

I will be solo and leaving on a Tuesday so with EP 14 I was thinking it may be crowded near the access point but I was hoping that by the time I got to Lynx I could find a spot on a Tuesday night - and then by the weekend hopefully I will be in Thumb/Beartrack which I hope is far enough from an access point for some peace and quiet? What are your thoughts on that?

Also I was thinking of getting a permit for the PMA and maybe try to head to contentment - that should def be quiet?

Second option is going to EP 44 Ram Lake - while there are limited permits there I also see limited camping options and not a great route. Also the portages are rough. All that could lead to seclusion but would that be a better trip that EP 14?

Any thoughts on these entry points with regards to campsite availability and seclusion during the COVID/Summer rush?
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distinguished member(850)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/20/2021 08:37AM  
If you are going to travel at all during your week, Ram Lake entry will be putting you into a very busy area around Horseshoe Lake. If you just base camped on Little Trout for the week you would not many folks.
distinguished member(3895)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/20/2021 09:46AM  
Yeah, Ram should be fairly quiet until you hit Vista and beyond and then you're in reach of other very popular entries.

LIS N is popular from the start....but you can get away from most of it if you head to the little lakes south of LLC. Or go on that long stretch of LLC between Snow Bay and Fish Stake narrows to the east.

So....of those 2 you've got one that's remote right away and one that's more remote the farther you go. (more like usual)
06/20/2021 10:13AM  
Yes, limited people and limited options on Ram, probably more people LISN, but more options too, so I'd probably go LISN. In the final analysis you're playing the odds and it's always a bit of a crap shoot at any particular time. Good luck and have fun.
06/20/2021 12:29PM  
As others have said, you're probably OK once you get to the Thumb/Beartrack area.

Contentment is a cool little lake, and the old campsite still has its fire grate. But it's overgrown and I saw no flat spot for a tent. I'd be sure to check some of the other areas around the lake to see if you can do better, should you get the permit and decide to head in.
06/20/2021 03:15PM  
Your Tuesday entry is your savior. You should be ok on LIS with some miles behind you.
06/20/2021 05:43PM  
Not sure if you have your permit or not already? Looks like 14 are all gone for next month and beyond.
06/20/2021 07:50PM  
It also looks like all the Tuesday 44 permits are gone too---hope you are not locked on those dates?
distinguished member(1434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/20/2021 09:12PM  
If you choose Ram Lake, I recommend camping the first night on Little Trout. Then do a loop that takes you up through Horseshoe and out to Kiskadinna, then south through Davis and the Cone Lakes, then travel Brule and back east to Bower Trout (easy walk back to the Ram entry to retrieve a vehicle). I did this loop in 8 days/7 nights (including one no travel day) but in reverse from your plan. Yes, the portages are hard in many places, but easier than a PMA. However, I saw fewer people on this loop than any other trip last year or this year.

For the direction I traveled I stayed at:
Bower Trout (had the lake to myself)...late put-in
Vernon (had the lake to myself)
Davis (had the lake to myself)
Omega (2 nights) (first time I talked to any people, but the campsite was away from others so felt like I was alone)
Horseshoe (only lake that was crowded...full in fact...July 3rd)
Ram (I was going to stay on Little Trout but ended up pushing to Ram for various reasons. Little Trout was empty.)

I never saw another group on a portage the whole trip and I was there June 28-July 5. I traveled early mornings. Brule was the only other lake that had lots of people besides Horseshoe, but it was a windy day so no one else was on the water when I paddled through.

I have never paddled EP14 so can't speak to that.

06/21/2021 08:57AM  
Do you think Lynx would be far enough on a Tuesday or should I plan to also do the longer portage into Ruby/Hustler on day 1?
06/21/2021 09:27AM  
It's hard to say, but that might be a busier part of your loop since it sometimes gets done as shorter point-to-point, i.e. EP14-16 or vice-versa and the area between the two seems popular with people more interested in base camping vs. tripping.
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