BWCA 2022 Scout trip Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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distinguished member (103)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/21/2021 01:46AM  
We were planning on going to Atikokan and into northern Quetico summer of 2022 (originally had it planned for 2021). Anyway we have 3 Scouts who aren't getting vaccinated, so are considering moving to BWCA out of Ely. I've made two northern Quetico trips, but am unfamiliar with BWCA. The following route caught our eye and I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this area? How difficult is it, especially the Lac La Croix to Fall Lake via Beartrap River?

It runs Fall Lake, Newton, Pipestone, Basswood Lake, the Basswood River up along the Canadian border along Crooked Lake & Iron. Then returning via Beartrap River to Beartrap Lake, Thunder Gull, Gun, Fairy, Boot, Fourtown, Mudrow, Sandpit, Jackfish, Pipestone, Newton and Fall Lake.
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John Moore
Guest Paddler
08/21/2021 04:24AM  
My friend and I completed a 5 day 4 night loop out of Mudro July 2021.

We entered on Mudro, Sandpit, Tin Can Mike, Horse, Horse river, Basswood, Crooked, Wednesday bay, Thursday bay, Friday bay, Saturday bay, Sunday bay, Iron, Peterson bay, Beartrap river, Sunday, Beartrap, Thunder, Mudhole, Gull, Gun, Fairy, Boot, Fourtown, and exited on Mudro.

I am 65 and he is 71. We single portaged and traveled about 6 hours a day. Low water conditions were an issue. The portages on the Beartrap river were well traveled and easy to negotiate. However, traveling the Beartrap river in low water conditions is hazardous. The river bed was knee to waist deep sucking mud in areas.


08/21/2021 08:36AM  
There is a ton of info in the trip reports section and other posts on the Beartrap to Iron part of your loop along the Beartrap River. That’s the only challenging section on your proposed route. I’ve pasted a link to a detailed trip report below…in particular see day three. I was up that way in June this year and the detailed report is accurate. Low water will definitely slow you down. Plan on 12+ hrs for getting from Iron to Beartrap Lake, especially if double portaging with a group of 6 or more (3 canoes).

As you may know most of the Beartrap River between a Iron and Beartrap Lake is in a PMA. You can pass through/explore the PMAs on a day trip without a permit but can’t spend the night without a date specific permit. This permit is in addition to the Entry Point permit.

Also, I take it your group is 9 or less and you are aware of the regulations on group size.

See day three
distinguished member(3899)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/21/2021 01:17PM  
Tons of info here on those areas. Just hit the search button at the top and type some of those lakes/rivers in and you'll get a LOAD of good stuff.

But you'll be on some very popular (even motors at the very start/end) and and some very remote sections and anything in between. Sounds like a great route, especially if everyone has some tripping experience already. If you've got a lot of newbies....maybe a little aggressive but you know your group.
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