BWCA Rockwood Lodge to Winchell in one day? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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wanderingfromkansas
senior member (74)senior membersenior member
 
01/28/2022 02:49PM  
If I had a group of 4-6 outdoors experienced men, relatively fit, ages 35-50, do you think I could get them from Rockwood Lodge on Poplar to Winchell in one Day?

That's at least 5 portages, none of them particularly long.

Thanks!
 
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01/28/2022 03:11PM  
Depends on weather, single carry or multiple , and time you start out. Double carry, slight head wind and take off at 730 = easy day, 4to 6 hrs. All the lakes on this route can get up and dance depending on the wind direction, watch for strong west winds on Winchell especially.
schweady
distinguished member(7775)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/28/2022 03:22PM  
Easily. My wife and I took off from Rockwood and were pulling into our basecamp on Horseshoe Lake site #673 after 2 hrs 15 min, double-portaging. From there, one of our day trips was to the falls coming out of Tremble Lake into Winchell, which took 2 hrs 30 min, one-way.

01/28/2022 03:55PM  
Yes, it's only about 9-10 miles double portage. It will take about 5 hours. Start early, Winchell is wind tunnel as mentioned.
Northwoodsman
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01/28/2022 05:02PM  
Not a problem at all timewise. The toughest portage is the one from Gaskin to Winchell. Likely muddy and swampy on the Gaskin side. As previously stated Winchell is somewhat of a wind tunnel. You may want to play it by ear and consider grabbing a site on Gaskin for the night and getting an early start for Winchell in the morning when winds are most likely to be the calmest. Site #628 on Gaskin is one of the best in the BWCA, #634 on Gaskin is pretty darn nice also. By the way take the longer portage out of the south arm of Horseshoe rather that the two shorter ones out of the northern arm. I have never tried them but I've read dozens of trip reports from others who have. My last 4 trips have been to/through Gaskin utilizing Rockwood and EP #47. You made an excellent choice.
moray
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01/28/2022 06:50PM  
Northwoodsman: "Not a problem at all timewise. The toughest portage is the one from Gaskin to Winchell. Likely muddy and swampy on the Gaskin side. As previously stated Winchell is somewhat of a wind tunnel. You may want to play it by ear and consider grabbing a site on Gaskin for the night and getting an early start for Winchell in the morning when winds are most likely to be the calmest. Site #628 on Gaskin is one of the best in the BWCA, #634 on Gaskin is pretty darn nice also. By the way take the longer portage out of the south arm of Horseshoe rather that the two shorter ones out of the northern arm. I have never tried them but I've read dozens of trip reports from others who have. My last 4 trips have been to/through Gaskin utilizing Rockwood and EP #47. You made an excellent choice."

I’m headed to this area in the spring and thinking of staying on Gaskin. I looked at lake map on this site and don’t see a site #28. I see #27 & 29 but no #28. Is it not marked on this map?
cyclones30
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01/28/2022 07:51PM  
Get an early start and you could be there by lunch
Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/28/2022 07:56PM  
schweady: "Easily. My wife and I took off from Rockwood and were pulling into our basecamp on Horseshoe Lake site #673 after 2 hrs 15 min, double-portaging. From there, one of our day trips was to the falls coming out of Tremble Lake into Winchell, which took 2 hrs 30 min, one-way. "
What schweady said. You're probably looking at half a day or a tad longer to Winchell.
Northwoodsman
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01/28/2022 08:46PM  
moray: "Northwoodsman: "Not a problem at all timewise. The toughest portage is the one from Gaskin to Winchell. Likely muddy and swampy on the Gaskin side. As previously stated Winchell is somewhat of a wind tunnel. You may want to play it by ear and consider grabbing a site on Gaskin for the night and getting an early start for Winchell in the morning when winds are most likely to be the calmest. Site #628 on Gaskin is one of the best in the BWCA, #634 on Gaskin is pretty darn nice also. By the way take the longer portage out of the south arm of Horseshoe rather that the two shorter ones out of the northern arm. I have never tried them but I've read dozens of trip reports from others who have. My last 4 trips have been to/through Gaskin utilizing Rockwood and EP #47. You made an excellent choice."


I’m headed to this area in the spring and thinking of staying on Gaskin. I looked at lake map on this site and don’t see a site #28. I see #27 & 29 but no #28. Is it not marked on this map?"


Gotta love that map. It misses the most popular campsite on the lake. Commonly known as the "Mondale" site. It's on the south side of the lake, at the end of the peninsula, half way between the portage in from Horseshoe and the one out to Winchell. It's listed as a photographic spot. I also like #633 as choice #3 however use the landing to the east, not the obvious one with the stairs. The same with #628. There are 3 landings. I prefer the one in the middle, the one on the south is great if it's windy.
moray
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/29/2022 08:59AM  
Northwoodsman: "moray: "Northwoodsman: "Not a problem at all timewise. The toughest portage is the one from Gaskin to Winchell. Likely muddy and swampy on the Gaskin side. As previously stated Winchell is somewhat of a wind tunnel. You may want to play it by ear and consider grabbing a site on Gaskin for the night and getting an early start for Winchell in the morning when winds are most likely to be the calmest. Site #628 on Gaskin is one of the best in the BWCA, #634 on Gaskin is pretty darn nice also. By the way take the longer portage out of the south arm of Horseshoe rather that the two shorter ones out of the northern arm. I have never tried them but I've read dozens of trip reports from others who have. My last 4 trips have been to/through Gaskin utilizing Rockwood and EP #47. You made an excellent choice."



I’m headed to this area in the spring and thinking of staying on Gaskin. I looked at lake map on this site and don’t see a site #28. I see #27 & 29 but no #28. Is it not marked on this map?"



Gotta love that map. It misses the most popular campsite on the lake. Commonly known as the "Mondale" site. It's on the south side of the lake, at the end of the peninsula, half way between the portage in from Horseshoe and the one out to Winchell. It's listed as a photographic spot. I also like #633 as choice #3 however use the landing to the east, not the obvious one with the stairs. The same with #628. There are 3 landings. I prefer the one in the middle, the one on the south is great if it's windy."


Thanks! I’ll check it out if we end up on Gaskin
01/29/2022 10:18AM  
I agree with others that it’s definitely doable if the wind cooperates. When I stay at Rockwood I get permit and everything situated on arrival so I can hit the water at first light the next morning and beat the crowds and the wind.

My wife and I made it from Rockwood to the Mondale site on Gaskin in 3 hours with looking at some sites on horseshoe. Have fun. Rockwood is great and that area is my favorite.
afromaniac
senior member (60)senior membersenior member
 
02/01/2022 11:20AM  
This can definitely be done in a day, if the wind is not insane out of the west. If it's windy you get to Winchell, you will have a rough go of it. I've paddled against wind on that lake and it's no fun. BUT to get there you also have to go through a bunch of other wind tunnel type lakes. If you decided to stay the night on Horseshoe or Gaskin you wouldn't be disappointed either and it's a skip and a jump into WInchell in the morning.
02/01/2022 03:16PM  
Easily.
I did a loop starting at Meeds, Henson, Omega, Winchell, Gaskin, Horseshoe, Caribou, and out Lizz in one full day of paddling.
I camped on Meeds the first night.

wanderingfromkansas
senior member (74)senior membersenior member
 
02/02/2022 12:58PM  
Thank you all for the replies.

I surely believe that every BWCA trip is a "choose your own adventure". Part of that adventure is having great flexibility in your planing. I understand that the unexpected can come up and thwart a person's plans. I just want to know if it can reasonably be done, and the consensus is a resounding "yes".

I do intend to go for the one longer portage into Winchell rather than two shorter.
 
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