Looking for some feedback on my proposed schedule. General trip is a 3 night loop from entry point 51 or 52 out to Little Sag. My concerns are being able to get Sites and underestimating travel time and ending up setting up camp in the dark! Relevant background: Been to BWCA ~5 times, but its been a few years. Going with partner. Both ~30 and in good shape with lots of hiking/backpacking experience. In the past, others have handled logistics (hence the post!)
Th 5/26: leave Minneapolis @4 am, arrive at Gunflint Ranger station by 9am. Pick up permit, ect (assume this will take ~30 min). Drive 1.5 hours to entry point 52. In the water water by noon at the latest. Get to Tuscarora (single portages) for night 1. Note, I have done the Missing Link to Tusc before and am aware that it is long.
Fri 5/27: Tuscarora to Little Sag via Owl, Crooked, Terry, Mora. This is the one I am unsure about, as I have never been back here. Seems totally doable (~6 miles of paddling (assuming needing paddle around a mile into Little Sag for a site, 5 portages, none to long).
Sat 5/28: Little Sag to ??? Totally up in the air on this one and open to any suggestions that would put me near(ish) to EP. Was thinking of camping on Gillis, as it has a bunch of highly rated Sites. If Gillis, would you recommend Virgin, West Fern, Powell, French or Rattle, Gab, Peter French?
I usually figure on averaging around 2mph when traveling solo, so 4 hours/8 miles, and you should be fine timewise on the plan. Biggest problem might be finding a site on Tuscarora late afternoon and having to continue on to Crooked.
Probably a couple of miles longer looping back, but not a significant issue like 12 miles vs. 14 or so. I would camp on Gillis - there are 3 sites on Bat, then the next ones are on Brant. The northern site on Bat is a burn and not a very good site. The middle one was OK when I stayed there. The east one I don't know about.
Try to get a site on Gillis - move to Bat if you need to. Of the other lakes you mention... I can say that the lone site on Virgin still rates as the worst I've ever seen in the BWCA. The site on the south shore of Powell is something of a hidden gem - its certainly nothing spectacular but, IMHO it's the cream of the crop throughout that area between Lil Sag and Gillis - if you want/ need to pull up short of Gillis. Gabi is a beautiful lake with some awesome campsites. photo of Virgin campsite.
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