BWCA Clearwater to West Bearskin Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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straighthairedcurly
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12/21/2021 07:11PM  
Does Clearwater Lodge allow people to land at their beach in order to portage the road down to the West Bearskin landing? I know there is a public landing farther up Clearwater Lake, but that adds a lot to the length of the portage.
 
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schweady
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12/21/2021 09:49PM  
So, are you planning to leave the wilderness at Clearwater, walk over to W Bearskin, and continue your trip to the west? Wouldn't you need a new Duncan or Daniels permit, then? I know that there are some allowed trip continuations that cross wilderness boundaries, but this one doesn't seem the type that would be included.
bottomtothetap
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12/21/2021 10:50PM  
I once was exiting at West Bearskin and walking back to our car at Clearwater Lodge when we met a group of young women coming the other way. They had landed at the Clearwater Lodge beach and were portaging to the West Bearskin put-in. They had a lot of gear and were making two trips each. The owners at Clearwater Lodge didn't seem to have any problem with this. But that was several owners ago. Can't speak for current policies. I'd just ask them if it was OK to do.

Interesting question about exit/re-entry. The way they were conducting this trip it didn't seem like they were really "leaving" the wilderness at any point (except that much of the path was now a smooth road) and were just continuing a loop. If they had stopped at the lodge for any reason or if they had used motorized/mechanized means to haul themselves or gear, it would have been a WAY different situation and then I don't think OK.

bottomtothetap
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12/21/2021 10:50PM  
Sorry! Double post!

thegildedgopher
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12/22/2021 10:11AM  
You leave the wilderness on Clearwater before you even hit shore, the whole western bay is technically outside.
12/22/2021 02:18PM  
I think that the route continuation allowances apply only to situations where you remain in the wilderness or stay on the water. If you go to an entry point for any reason, the trip is over and a new permit is required to reenter. Using Round Lake as an example, you could go from Brant to Missing Link but not to the Cross Bay EP. Maybe you could do it if you could make it up the Cross River, not sure if it is navigable, but not down the road.

I once talked to the FS on a similar question and they pointedly used the term "exiting the wilderness". This leads me to believe that this is a standardized term and how they make judgments. A road is not wilderness and I don't think anyone is really going to buy that excuse.
straighthairedcurly
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12/22/2021 08:33PM  
schweady: "So, are you planning to leave the wilderness at Clearwater, walk over to W Bearskin, and continue your trip to the west? Wouldn't you need a new Duncan or Daniels permit, then? I know that there are some allowed trip continuations that cross wilderness boundaries, but this one doesn't seem the type that would be included.
"


No, we are hoping to start our trip from West Bearskin with a Daniels entry. Then we would exit via Clearwater and portage or walk back to our car. Just as soon portage if we can use the Clearwater Lodge beach vs. the Clearwater public landing.
billconner
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12/23/2021 05:57AM  
If I understand correctly, you should be able to Enter at Daniels and exit at Clearwater. You are not leaving and re-entering the wilderness.

The only instances of exiting and re-entering allowed are corridor crossings - across the Gunflint or Echo trail - from one separate part of the BWCA to another. Clearwater to Bearskin is not a legal corridor crossing. Exiting through Poplar and re-entering at Bearskin is permitted. No camping, resupply, motorized transport, outfitter, etc. allowed.

thegildedgopher
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12/23/2021 08:44AM  
straighthairedcurly: "
schweady: "So, are you planning to leave the wilderness at Clearwater, walk over to W Bearskin, and continue your trip to the west? Wouldn't you need a new Duncan or Daniels permit, then? I know that there are some allowed trip continuations that cross wilderness boundaries, but this one doesn't seem the type that would be included.
"



No, we are hoping to start our trip from West Bearskin with a Daniels entry. Then we would exit via Clearwater and portage or walk back to our car. Just as soon portage if we can use the Clearwater Lodge beach vs. the Clearwater public landing."


I think you’ll be fine but you might just call Clearwater lodge and ask in advance to cover your bases. It’s very much their beach and you’ll be walking through their property up a small hill past the lodge to get to the road. You’ll want to be quick and courteous so as not to interfere with their outfitting business that may very well be sending a group off at any time.

Maybe you can plan to have a quick meal/snack/beverage there as a way of thanking them for the use if their space.

If it’s a no-go I’d recommend landing at the CW EP and sending the fittest member of your group for a jog back to grab the car while the group waits with the canoes back at the EP. There are quite a few steepish hills on that gravel road back to CW.
bottomtothetap
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12/23/2021 01:27PM  
bottomtothetap: "I once was exiting at West Bearskin and walking back to our car at Clearwater Lodge when we met a group of young women coming the other way. They had landed at the Clearwater Lodge beach and were portaging to the West Bearskin put-in. They had a lot of gear and were making two trips each. The owners at Clearwater Lodge didn't seem to have any problem with this. But that was several owners ago. Can't speak for current policies. I'd just ask them if it was OK to do.


Interesting question about exit/re-entry. The way they were conducting this trip it didn't seem like they were really "leaving" the wilderness at any point (except that much of the path was now a smooth road) and were just continuing a loop. If they had stopped at the lodge for any reason or if they had used motorized/mechanized means to haul themselves or gear, it would have been a WAY different situation and then I don't think OK.


"


Regarding this group I referred to (or as would apply to any group travelling this direction), unless continuing on from W Bearskin to Daniels or Duncan, it doesn't seem there would be any exit/re-entry issues with other route options unless you REALLY travelled a ways to get to another entry point. I don't know what this group's plan was. Perhaps out to Hungry Jack or Flour/Aspen/E Bearskin to get to a vehicle?
schweady
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12/31/2021 09:48AM  
straighthairedcurly: "
schweady: "So, are you planning to leave the wilderness at Clearwater, walk over to W Bearskin, and continue your trip to the west? Wouldn't you need a new Duncan or Daniels permit, then? I know that there are some allowed trip continuations that cross wilderness boundaries, but this one doesn't seem the type that would be included.
"



No, we are hoping to start our trip from West Bearskin with a Daniels entry. Then we would exit via Clearwater and portage or walk back to our car. Just as soon portage if we can use the Clearwater Lodge beach vs. the Clearwater public landing."

Okay, gotcha. Clearwater Lodge is the only one who can answer that. Maybe a tip would be warranted.
 
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