BWCA 21/22 Gunflint Trail Winter Conditions Boundary Waters Winter Camping and Activities
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Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
11/25/2021 02:09PM  
Winter has arrive a little late this season, the lakes are just starting to ice up and we have had almost no snow. So far only the small lakes have any meaningful ice, and with the mild forecast it may be a while before the big lakes are completely frozen.



Gunflint Trail Winter Update #1

Happy Thanksgiving!

Andy
 
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Mocha
distinguished member(7670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/25/2021 04:46PM  
Thanks Andy and Ada!
Looks nice up there.
Gadfly
distinguished member (428)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/26/2021 12:00PM  
Truly appreciate these updates
Minnesotian
distinguished member(2108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/03/2021 07:40AM  

Thanks much! Looks like a shot of cold air should be coming your way this weekend and into the start of next week. I am seeing some negative numbers predicted. Should help with ice formation nicely.
dhfish
member (41)member
 
12/08/2021 11:51AM  
Thank you for posting this! Very helpful and neat to see it happen.
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
12/09/2021 10:55AM  
The first winter storm was a pretty big one, snowfalls totals ranged from about 5 to 6 inches at the end of the trail to nearly two feet closer to town. Almost all the lakes except the big ones are frozen, it's still early ice season and we haven't been very cold so remember to be pack your ice picks, floatation suit, and spud.

Winter Update

Andy
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
12/17/2021 01:34PM  
The snow took a beating with all the rain we had, but the lake ice is pretty darn good. Most lakes at the end of the trail have no snow cover and with the colder temps and calmer winds I think we will see the last few big lakes lock up soon.




Crazy Weather

Andy
Troutaddict
Guest Paddler
 
12/17/2021 10:26PM  
Thanks Andy. Hope seagull gains ice by Jan 11th. Hoping to be up then for first winter outing!
Minnesotian
distinguished member(2108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2021 01:07AM  

Thanks for the update. I'm actually hoping the rain cut out the snow a bit so there is less chance of slush forming.
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
12/28/2021 04:51PM  
Here's a look at what went down over the last week, we've made some good ice and gotten more snow. Conditions are just about perfect for this time of year and it's looking like they will stay good into the BWCAW trout opener.

Winter Update #4 Walleyes and Snow Storms.

Andy
ericinely
distinguished member (283)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2022 08:34AM  
Love your videos! Keep em comin!

Did you get out on the ice this weekend during this insane cold snap? I was in the cities with family so I didn't get out, but I am not necessarily that upset with how cold it has been. Hope those of you who did get out were safe and had a great time!
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
01/02/2022 08:59AM  
Thanks.

Nope, too cold for me. It was the quietest BWCAW opener in a long time, a stark contrast to last year when it was a complete zoo.

Andy
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
01/18/2022 04:12PM  
We're back! It's been a very normal January so far, some snow and quite a bit of cold. The slush is hit or miss, some lakes are horrible some are pretty good. Way more snow mid-trail like usual.

Slow Lake Trout Fishing in a Snowstorm

Andy
TreeBear
distinguished member (219)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/19/2022 10:10AM  
Tuscarora Outfitters: "We're back! It's been a very normal January so far, some snow and quite a bit of cold. The slush is hit or miss, some lakes are horrible some are pretty good. Way more snow mid-trail like usual.


Slow Lake Trout Fishing in a Snowstorm


Andy"


I echo that. A trip out the first week of the year found tons of slush on Clearwater and Caribou. Some spots were awesome to walk, some spots there were big snowdrifts (it's been windy), and then there were some really slushy stretches,
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
02/10/2022 05:32PM  
Conditions are almost unchanged from my last post. Classic mid-winter on the Gunflint Trail. Mid-Trail has deep snow and some slush. End of the Trail has less snow, and less slush. You have to have skis or snowshoes to get around this year.

Ice depth varies quite a bit, some mid-trail lakes that got buried in early snow only have 15 to 18 inches while the End of the Trail is closing in on 24 inches.

We're ready for a warm-up.

Can you ski the Kek?

Andy
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
02/13/2022 03:45PM  
Coldest weekend of the winter! It was in the -40s Saturday and Sunday morning near the end of the Gunflint Trail.

If you're headed to Seagull for some winter camping anytime soon, this one is for you: Seagull Lake Conditions

Andy
Minnesotian
distinguished member(2108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/14/2022 04:45PM  
Perfect timing. Guess where I am going this weekend? Seagull.

I was also out in a cabin on an island on Rainy Lake this last weekend. That's a real trip to go outside and see -40 on the gauge, and not just for one night. I think I was skiing across Rainy about the same time you were recording this.
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
02/22/2022 11:16AM  
Quick update:

7-8 inches of snow over the last few days.
28ish inches in the woods.
The deepest snow on Round Lake is 15 inches, it varies a lot.
20 to 24 inches of ice on average on the Upper Gunflint Trail

Stop Snowing.

Andy
Kawishiwashy
distinguished member (147)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/08/2022 07:39AM  
How's travel on the Gunflint Trail Lakes? It's been a while since the major snowfall. Wondering if things are generally "set" and "firm" or "soft" with "slush?" Temps have been cold so hoping conditions are good for traversing the lakes. Thanks for any insight.
paddlefurther
 
03/08/2022 08:38AM  
Travel is pretty tough right now on the Gunflint side. We have a lot of snow and have not had the cold and wind to have hard-packed lakes. Expect a top layer that will not support weight, you will break through into deep snow on the lakes. Slush is spotty, but not terrible while traveling. Once you set camp or if you are traveling where others have drilled fishing holes the slush will become an issue.

The good news is we have had some melting since our last snow so what is on the lakes is not moving much. Once a trail is packed it should stay good for a while. So if you are on a more highly traveled route you should be good.

We are not seeing good travel typical of late-season ice and from the looks of it we will need a lot of melting for this to happen
03/08/2022 10:03AM  
paddlefurther: "Travel is pretty tough right now on the Gunflint side. We have a lot of snow and have not had the cold and wind to have hard-packed lakes. Expect a top layer that will not support weight, you will break through into deep snow on the lakes. Slush is spotty, but not terrible while traveling. Once you set camp or if you are traveling where others have drilled fishing holes the slush will become an issue.


The good news is we have had some melting since our last snow so what is on the lakes is not moving much. Once a trail is packed it should stay good for a while. So if you are on a more highly traveled route you should be good.


We are not seeing good travel typical of late-season ice and from the looks of it we will need a lot of melting for this to happen"


This is great info thanks!

I'm hitting a well traveled path next weekend on the Gunflint Trail. Would you say that with potential slush issues that camping on the ice is ill advised? Or is it more of a lake by lake type scenario? Keep the water hole well away from the tent if on the ice I'm assuming?

Thanks!
paddlefurther
 
03/08/2022 10:15AM  
camping on the ice could be hit or miss. If you do just be sure not to drill holes too close to camp as that will cause water to come up and create slush
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
03/15/2022 04:08PM  
The meltdown has started! Conditions are going to be changing fast this week. There's a mile of snow to melt before the ice is exposed to the sun so It's hard to imagine a way that we won't go into the first week of April with good ice.

Meltdown

Andy
03/16/2022 10:48AM  
Great thanks for the update! Heading up this afternoon.

Anyone been across Clearwater at all lately? Curious if there is any packed trails to the east side of the lake.

Always wanted to get on Clearwater and camp on a lake nearby but this probably isn't the year with how much snow there is.

I'm planning on heading to Duncan since this will be my wife's first winter trip but I would take a shot at West Pike if I knew I could somewhat easily get through CW.

Gadfly
distinguished member (428)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/16/2022 08:34PM  
lyontyl: "Great thanks for the update! Heading up this afternoon.


Anyone been across Clearwater at all lately? Curious if there is any packed trails to the east side of the lake.


Always wanted to get on Clearwater and camp on a lake nearby but this probably isn't the year with how much snow there is.


I'm planning on heading to Duncan since this will be my wife's first winter trip but I would take a shot at West Pike if I knew I could somewhat easily get through CW.


"


There are some trails across clearwater. One that hugs the north side for a few miles for sure. When traveling off the trail snowshoes helped keep us above the slush.
Tuscarora Outfitters
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
03/16/2022 08:39PM  
I was on Clearwater a week ago today and it was still deep snow and slush, the last 48 hours have been above freezing with rain so that will have settled into a sloppy mess, but it will get better fast as we get more thawing and some colder night temps.

I'd say getting to the east end would be extremely difficult right now, but it could become easy in about a week if continue with the weather we are having.

 
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