BWCA Hike Border Route 2-3 night or Snowbank? Suggestions? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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GeneH
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08/17/2021 03:01PM  
I'm thinking of doing a hike before I do Powwow trail clearing in mid-Oct. Have to break in my new boots. Maybe about 20 -30 miles. Looks like the border route has some good views. Tentatively thinking of parking at Gunflint Pines and having them drop me someplace, maybe at the South Lake and Moss Lake Trailhead, then making my way back to the lodge.

Any suggestions? Good idea? Not so good idea? Doesn't look like many camp sites so I might have to do some very careful planning for disbursed overnight - 10 miles or so can be a long enough hike depending on the trail conditions.

 
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Papinator
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08/19/2021 12:00PM  
Snowbank is a great option and pretty well traveled. Did BRT in 2017, it's pretty rugged, the whole thing from start to finish took us 6 days; it's very rough and overgrown in many areas but the views are worth it! Bring ibuprofen!
SinglePortage
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08/19/2021 12:08PM  
Two years ago I paddled into Rose at the end of September and stayed at the easternmost site. From there I hiked East one day, fished the next, hiked West on the third, fished the fourth and then came out. Probably my most interesting trip ever, out of forty years of canoe tripping. The fall colors were amazing from the overlooks on the trail. Splitting the hiking days might be a good plan if you are breaking in new boots. This way you can just bring a day pack and save your knees!

When is the trail work trip? I might be interested in helping out.
GeneH
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08/20/2021 05:56PM  
SinglePortage: "Two years ago I paddled into Rose at the end of September...The fall colors were amazing from the overlooks on the trail. Splitting the hiking days might be a good plan...and save your knees!

When is the trail work trip? I might be interested in helping out. "


I'm a member of https://www.meetup.com/Friends-of-BWCA-Trails this group has been surveying and clearing BWCAW trails for years. They have quite a few trips each year. I'm scheduled for trip #18, Oct 14 - 17. If your interested get signed up.

There's a BWAC (Boundary Waters Advisory Committee) fall crew orientation on Sept 8 at Midwest Mountaineering. https://www.meetup.com/Friends-of-BWCA-Trails/events/279664874/

Between what you and Papinator said about BR being rugged, I'll look at a 20 mile loop and take it easy.

Any comments on the Gunflint Lake side of the BR?



BWAC Crew Orientation Friends of BWCA Trails trail surveys and clearing
SinglePortage
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08/24/2021 11:37AM  
I have the Sept. 8 date at Midwest on my calendar. I was looking at the various trips, but getting to the little meet up hikes is a little tricky. I live in Eau Claire, WI so it ends up taking up more time for me. I would really like to help out though. I used to canoe to South Wilder before the blow down and fire. I tried to get back there a few years ago with my daughter but the portage was impassable.
SinglePortage
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08/24/2021 11:56AM  
I had to turn back at crab lake because of time. The big up and downs increase as you travel East from Loon Lake. Let is know your final route and how it went.
GeneH
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08/25/2021 12:10AM  
SinglePortage: "I had to turn back at crab lake because of time. The big up and downs increase as you travel East from Loon Lake. Let is know your final route and how it went."

Will do! Right now I'm trying to figure out really compact meal plans to fit in a new Bare Boxer. It's only 4.5 L and 2nd lightest to carry at 1 lb 11 oz, so I have to carry that much less weight in food for any given trip.
GeneH
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08/25/2021 01:22PM  
Do you folks know of shuttle services around Gunflint lake or should I just call a couple places (Gunflint Lodge & Gunflint Pines resort) to get a ride out to a starting point on the trail. I'll arrange leave my car at one of those places, get a ride out, and hike back.
Do you care to suggest a lodge or outfitter for that? Else I'll just make some calls in the next couple days.

Tentative plan is start at Caribou Rock& Mossy Lake Trailhead, work my way back along the BR to Gunflint Lodge or Gunflint Pines resort, about 26 miles, 3 - 3 1/2 days. It looks relatively doable and the shortest trip to pay for heading out to the trailhead. No idea yet what that's gonna cost.

....assuming we get rain and BWCA opens on 9/4. Else I'll just keep trying.
dex8425
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
08/25/2021 03:52PM  
I've done Snowbank a few times and all of the BRT. The Moss Lake, Caribou Rock and BRT can be used to make a loop. That section of the BRT is pretty awesome-would highly recommend. Campsites are meh but the views are incredible and you won't see many people.

Snowbank is a great trail too, easier terrain to hike and more well-traveled than the BRT, but always a few beaver dams that slow you down. If going clockwise you get good views of Snowbank almost right away. I'd always recommend going clockwise. The western portion of the Kek is not all that exciting so I like finishing with that. You can add the old pines loop to get a couple good campsite options. Trail to disappointment mountain is cool but usually not worth doing the loop.
08/25/2021 08:29PM  
GeneH: "Do you folks know of shuttle services around Gunflint lake or should I just call a couple places (Gunflint Lodge & Gunflint Pines resort) to get a ride out to a starting point on the trail. I'll arrange leave my car at one of those places, get a ride out, and hike back.
Do you care to suggest a lodge or outfitter for that? Else I'll just make some calls in the next couple days.


Tentative plan is start at Caribou Rock& Mossy Lake Trailhead, work my way back along the BR to Gunflint Lodge or Gunflint Pines resort, about 26 miles, 3 - 3 1/2 days. It looks relatively doable and the shortest trip to pay for heading out to the trailhead. No idea yet what that's gonna cost.


....assuming we get rain and BWCA opens on 9/4. Else I'll just keep trying."


Call Harriet Quarels for a ride: 218-370-9164

She did our ride from Grand Marais to the Northern Terminus last year of the SHT, and is doing our shuttle for our thru-hike of the BRT as well from the 270 overlook to the end.

I'm interested to hear how your trip goes. Digging into any trip reports I can get my hands on and doing LOTS of box steps, squats, and lunges for training.
GeneH
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08/30/2021 09:56AM  
MN_Lindsey:
Call Harriet Quarels for a ride: 218-370-9164
I'm interested to hear how your trip goes. Digging into any trip reports I can get my hands on and doing LOTS of box steps, squats, and lunges for training.

Nice! She's quite a character. Bailed us out from an aborted hike a couple years ago on the SHT. One member got sick. Harriet was the only one available.

There's still to many fires so am going to push my hike back. Then 2 weddings... I'll let you folks know when I do get out.
 
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