BWCA How many go last week of September? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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ockycamper
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01/21/2022 02:07PM  
Last few years we have gone to Seagull/Alpine/Red Rock the third week of September. Last year it was too early for fall colors and there were still a good deal of trippers up there. We are considering going to year 9/26 to 10/2 so we can be up there for the fall colors.

What has been your experience that time of year? What about fishing? We are well aware of the possiblity of weather. This will be our 15th year and we have had everything from 80's to snow/sleet/hail going mid-later September off the Gunflint.
 
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gravelroad
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01/21/2022 04:05PM  
Every prime site on Seagull was occupied the first weekend in October last year. It shocked me to see that.

(And I have also been snowed on in mid September, but that was on Sag.)
ockycamper
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01/21/2022 04:07PM  
We went up the third week of September last year. Lots of cars in the parking lot at Seagull Outfitters. We portaged through to Red Rock. There were two other groups on Red Rock other then us that we knew of.

Looking at moving to 9/26-10/2 for this fall. Hope to avoid any crowds, have the fall colors and catch some fish.
andym
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01/21/2022 08:49PM  
The leaves come later on the lakes due to heat held by the water. If there aren't good leaves on a big lake like Seagull then you might try a day trip to a smaller lake. But it may be a more regional effect and hard to get away from.

I remember one year, sometime in Sept or early Oct, when the leaves were eh on the lakes. Then as we drove from Ely to Virginia and got away from the lakes there were some incredible vistas. Then as we turned south toward the cities, we soon lost much color at all. So it was very variable. But some of those views on the rolling hills as we headed to Virginia have stuck with me.
01/23/2022 08:16AM  
I’ve been on trips right at the end of Sept-beginning of Oct a few times and loved it. When the forecast has been nice it’s been busy and when the forecast has been bad there haven’t been many people. For example, One year the parking lot at Sawbill was full (like end of July full) when the forecast for the weekend was beautiful. It was 70 and sunny. The following year the same weekend the forecast was nasty and there were only a handful of cars in the same lot.
I never seem to hit the fall colors right on. Sometimes I feel I should have been there sooner and sometimes I feel I should have waited a week
01/23/2022 10:41AM  
I was up there two years ago for the last week of September and first few days of October. I like that time, but like mentioned the weather is just that much more iffy. I paddled in in a tshirt and thin long sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and paddled out in a snowstorm. Had about 3 days I deemed to windy and wet to paddle. I could be wrong but closer to October seems to be when the moose rut starts. While I did not see any on that trip, I did hear 3 bulls in the woods snorting and fussing around hoping to find love or a fight.
ockycamper
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01/23/2022 12:39PM  
We have been coming up to Seagull lake for the last 7 years, second or third week of September. The last two years Grand Marais was packed in the third week of September. Parking lot at Seagull Outfitters was also full. Lots of people on Seagull and several other groups on the portage into Alpine.

We are hoping delaying to last week of September will help avoid this. Second and third weeks of September we have experienced temps in the upper 70's, and a trip 3 years ago that we had snow and sleet.

The vote for our group of guys is that we would take cold temps and some bad weather to avoid crowds and bugs. One of our best trips was three years ago when it snowed and sleeted. We built a "super shelter" around the fire grate. Stacked up the rocks to make the fire into an oven, and put reflective emergency blankets on three sides and an angled tarp on top. We could keep the enclosure warm enough to be in there in a t shirt while it was snowing outside. Everyone talks about that as one of our best trips
01/24/2022 07:48AM  
I always go the last week of Sept. Colors are good, but as others have stated there will be pockets that are better. Fishing is OK. Not like June, but I just fish for dinners that time of year. 30-40' is usually the depth I start at. I target eyes and LT.
ockycamper
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01/24/2022 08:25AM  
It looks like we will be taking our guys up last week of September. Probably camp on Red Rock as there is less wind and waves if weather gets bad. Fish on Red Rock, Alpine and Seagull. We could really use any tips you guys have on fishing that time of year!
 
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