BWCA Quetico planning for 2022 Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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Gaidin53
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08/25/2021 10:34PM  
Oh, the challenges of planning, although I enjoy the planning so much! I’ve only been in the Quetico once with a buddy who had been a guide in college thirty years or so ago. We entered at Cache Bay and did a Mack loop. Caught an absolute ton of fish in Kawa Bay. Pretty much until we were tired of catching huge walleyes. Took about six days to get to that point though.

We stayed in the campsite in the bay that is now closed. Kind of bummed about that since I would have loved to camp again at that site. Until recently, I do get an RABC every year since I fish on Lake of the Woods and cross over. So many unknowns. Will border be open with. Covid? Will RABC’s start again? Will the southern entries be open? Will fires mess everything up again.

Route? Leaning towards a Carp entry, Man Chain, Falls Chain, Kawnipi, Agnes and. Back out. Route could be reversed with an Agnes entry. With that much time should I try to see Chatterton Falls and route a little differently. Which direction is better is debatable. How bad will the burn sections be next year? Probably take a while to get things cleaned up after this year. Looking at going beginning of July. I’m certainly not locked into a route yet by the way.

I’ve done three BWCA trips in the past three years. Was supposed to be entering at Moose originally Mudro on This Saturday but that obviously isn’t happening. Going with my son and one of his friends who will be 17 and tripped with me at Northern Tier. We did 75 miles in six days although I don’t want that type of pace for this trip. They are both stronger now and bigger.

Ryan
 
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tumblehome
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08/26/2021 02:04PM  
I can say this much,

Probably the entire area that is burning this year will still be closed next year. They have to clear portages. So far your trip is in the clear but we ain't done yet!
Tom
Gaidin53
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08/26/2021 03:19PM  
Didn’t know that it would take that long to clear but I know it’s a huge job after a fire. The fires I know are a natural part of the forest but I know I tend to avoid the areas that have been burnt. We went through Ogishgemuncie, Alpine, and some of the other lakes on my Northern Tier trip. That day we paddled through all those and camped out of the burn on Ogish. It’s interesting to paddle through but I definitely prefer the areas that haven’t been burnt recently.

My college trip was the year or two before Kawnipi had its big fire. Weird part about that trip is I remember early parts of the trip Silver Falls and the ski hill downhill portage near Mack lake. I remember Kawa Bay and the fishing. We came back up the falls chain and somehow I don’t remember it at all. I was about a week out of coming back from basic training in the army though so I’ve probably got an overload of memories from that time.

Showed up with my Army issue 120 below sleeping bag that fills half a superior pack by itself and my guide Buddy was like your not bringing that. He loaned me his summer weight bag he’d guided on for 3 summers. We had a hard frost the first night and I froze my butt off! Wasn’t carrying any fat after it got burned off at Basic training. Stellar trip though and now that I’m canoe camping Quetico has definitely been calling me back. I also almost tipped the canoe on my first paddle stroke at the end of the Gunflint on Sag. That would have been an awesome start to the trip. I used a full body big paddle stroke!

Ryan
BonzSF
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08/26/2021 07:39PM  
I was looking at the same route for next year. We're looking at a 12-14 day trip though so we got time. We had plans to go up Agnes to Camel then Southwest out of there. I don't think we want to do the "Death march portage" right after it burned.
Following!
08/26/2021 07:55PM  
Ryan,
The route you've suggested was pretty much our 2020 plan, but it got COVIDed. Then it became our 2021 route while we waited for the border to reopen. Without the RABC when Question finally reopened to US citizens, we decided to enter via Beaver house. Then the Q closed because of wildfires, so we're on our way to Algonquin. Have our ARRIVE CAN receipt and cross tomorrow morning...

So we're hoping to do something like your route in 2022. A suggestion: add Blackstone to your loop. It's beautiful!

TZ
tumblehome
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08/26/2021 08:04PM  
It appears that part of Camel was burned up. This does not mean it's torched. Sometimes fires creep along like a mosaic. But alas, sometime they burn everything down to the bedrock.


There is a lot of old-growth in the area around Camel. I hope those old pines survived.
Gaidin53
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08/26/2021 11:47PM  
Ontario map is showing two new fires just west of Agnes. Not sure how new they are but definitely an area I’d hope that could be spared. As I look at Loops it’s a bit challenging since the loops get big really quick.

Took me a while to find Blackstone but I did find it I’ll have to keep that in mind.

I have considered doing the loop I’m talking about and heading up to Chatterton Falls. I’d have to backtrack though to get into Agnes. I don’t really see any good ways to link from
That area and get to Agnes in a relatively easy way. I could move down the chains towards Kashipiwi but I’d miss half of Agnes also more miles which is probably fine in the amount of days I’m thinking about.

Also think Kashipiwi is in the fire area from this year. Looked at it and it’s on the edge with a small amount other side. Up north of that on the chain it’s had more fire.

Trailzen I'm glad you managed to get an Algonquin trip. Surprised you could get a permit and then Algonquin you have to pick which lake you’ll camp on which I’d think short quick planning would be more difficult. To still get a trip though is key and Algonquin looks pretty cool.

Ryan
08/27/2021 06:18PM  
Gaidin53: "Trailzen I'm glad you managed to get an Algonquin trip. Surprised you could get a permit and then Algonquin you have to pick which lake you’ll camp on which I’d think short quick planning would be more difficult. To still get a trip though is key and Algonquin looks pretty cool.

Ryan"


Thanks, Ryan-We talked with a couple Algonquin area outfitters; both recommended the northwest corner of the park for permits. We got to North Bay, ON, early this afternoon, so drove on out to investigate the Kiosk entry point and get maps from an outfitter. More people than I expected, but I've been spoiled by the lack of folks in Quetico. As you've noted, being required to select a destination lake for each night is rather restrictive and kills any spontaneity mid-trip. I don't think we've stayed strictly on a planned route on ANY BWCA/Q trip. In fact we visited Blackstone after a solo paddler we met on a portage raved about it! But it'll be a good trip-isn't any paddling trip good?

TZ
toothfairy
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09/04/2021 07:27AM  
I've done that route 4 times, starting in 1989. It is a beautiful route. (I would save Chatterton Falls for a northern route trip-Put in at French Lake and do a large loop of that part of the park.) Take a tow to Prairie Portage to save a few hours of paddling and get in line at the ranger Station. You can make it a good ways on the Man Chain on the first day. Make sure the ranger discusses the Falls Chain with you. As Janice Matichuk used to say, people have died at every falls. The rangers can tell you exact areas you should put in and take out. Sounds like you probably took that on your way out years ago but just be conscientious. Kawnipi is beautiful and full of fish as you know. Agnes is one of my favorite lakes. You will of course want to stop at Louisa Falls. The Meadows portages are not really that bad. The first one is rocky, but the second one is a freeway.

Who knows when the RABC's will start to be handed out again. Probably in the spring if they let us in. They are still not letting people who own cabins on the Canadian side of Saganaga go to their places. The "border" is open only by land, not water. One US owner has gone by land, all the way around via border etc....

One of my groups is planning a Cache Bay Saganagons Entry Point for next year. That is what we had planned for 2020. We'll see. Good luck. Hope we all get to go back to Quetico next year!
Gaidin53
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09/04/2021 08:47PM  
If the RABC is questionable when it’s getting time to pick permits I’ll do a northern entry. Would definitely rather come in through the south though.

I fish Lake of the woods a lot and I wonder if the locals have been able to get up to Canadian cabins yet. They probably have been able to access by land though and then launch boats on the Canadian side.

Ryan
GraniteCliffs
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09/06/2021 03:20PM  
I can't help myself. I am already planning my trips for next year. I have my solo route planned. I have one group trip route planned. The other couple of trips I hope to make will depend in large part on how wide a footprint the fires have affected things.
What a great thing to think about.. One has to have dreams and plans at any age.
BonzSF
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10/04/2021 04:36PM  
Planning a long trip into Q for next year and have a big question mark.
Will there be RABCs issued next season? Has anybody heard anything about entering from the south or do we have to drive to Canada to enter?
Missed last year because of a multitude of things. Even if I had made it to Ely,
our entry point and most of the epic route planned was closed.
Really hoping for a wet winter and looking forward to next year!
 
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