BWCA Mudro to Iron Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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RatherbeDuffing
member (50)member
 
02/04/2022 05:22PM  
Looking at putting into Mudro and going up the beartrap river in early June. I know this would be a very long day but has anyone done it? Most reports I have seen either have people staying at Thunder or Sunday before making the push. This is obviously assuming water levels are being reported as adequate in late May.

If someone says they have done the whole thing I feel pretty confident we could as we move pretty quick.
 
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02/04/2022 05:47PM  
I've done most of this in parts...someone may have better intel. I'd say that single-portaging and hustling, that's got to be at least 9-10 hours, and possibly more. Doubling? I'm tapping out.
If you can get the Pristine Management Area permit, laying up on Sunday Lake might be the wise decision.
cyclones30
distinguished member(3895)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/04/2022 06:12PM  
You could.....but if you're one of the first people through that route you might run into downed trees and such since that's in a PMA. (primitive mgmt) aka not really any mgmt

But you HAVE to have the one and only overnight PMA permit if you're staying on Sunday that night. You can't just go and hope for the best or stop if you don't make it.

It's possible but will be a long slog of a day and that's if water levels somehow come up from where they were last year.

And if you do get to Iron before dark...good luck finding a campsite there late in the day.

John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
02/04/2022 06:50PM  
Yes, it is possible to travel from Mudro lake to Iron lake in a day. However,I feel that it would be wise to plan and allow for problems with personnel, equipment, environment, weather, navigation and campsite availability. I had no problem reserving a PMA permit and I recommend that you reserve a permit so you can spend one night on Sunday lake if you want. We enjoyed our stay on Sunday lake, the campsite was comfortable and the lake is nice.

In July 2021 it took my friend and me about four hours to travel from Iron lake to Sunday lake. We spent one night on Sunday lake and the next day we traveled for about seven hours from Sunday lake to Mudro lake parking lot. We single portaged, moved steady, water levels were very low, weather was good with little wind and we were never lost but did spend extra time locating the start to a few of the portages.

Lawnchair107
distinguished member (197)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/05/2022 10:25AM  
I’d be leary of putting in such a strenuous day for a final destination that’s quite a popular spot in Iron. It’s one thing to push hard to a spot thats remote, but Iron is as popular a lake as there is.

Just my .02 cents
Banksiana
distinguished member(2557)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/05/2022 12:31PM  
And just to prevent any surprise you will be going down the Beartrap River, not up it.
02/05/2022 08:28PM  
I agree with Lawnchair. Plan your trip so you get to Iron early and hope a site opens up..
It took us 7 hours to travel from Mudro to Beartrap double portageing. Next day we pushed on to Sunday. Next day on to Iron.

Good luck
Z4K
distinguished member (211)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/06/2022 03:49AM  
Absolutely it is doable, like others have said your problem is going to be finding a place to camp once up on the border. In late June of 2018 I was in a tandem that departed Beartrap Lake around 9:30am, which is probably earlier than you could hope for coming from an early entrance on Mudro. The portages were surprisingly clear and easy to find, however every American campsite was taken between the west end of Iron and #1876 on Crooked, which we claimed as the sun was setting. It was a great route, and overall a great short trip (Angleworm-Beartrap-Crooked-Home) but we were just two younger guys with no itinerary; most other groups I've paddled with would not have been pleased with spending half of one of the longest days of the year trying to find an open site.

One thing I will say, which I've recommended on this board in the past and I hope to repeat in the future, is our entrance strategy. We entered at Angleworm very late in the day and camped on Angleworm Lake without getting our canoe wet. Yes, I know plenty of people will object to this strategy; it's not for everyone but it let us sleep off that first portage and start our 'first' day on the water very early. I had watched OP and OH permits issued for a week ahead of our trip on recreation.gov to assure us that one of the 7 sites on Angleworm would be available and when we arrived every single one was open. Crunching the numbers, this route to Iron only saves 4 miles of paddling over a Mudro entry at the cost of 2 miles of (single) portaging, but with a late hike on day 0 you'll wake up on day 1 a lot closer to Iron.

Such a late entry at any other entry point would be foolish.
RatherbeDuffing
member (50)member
 
02/07/2022 02:53PM  
Z4K: "Absolutely it is doable, like others have said your problem is going to be finding a place to camp once up on the border. In late June of 2018 I was in a tandem that departed Beartrap Lake around 9:30am, which is probably earlier than you could hope for coming from an early entrance on Mudro. The portages were surprisingly clear and easy to find, however every American campsite was taken between the west end of Iron and #1876 on Crooked, which we claimed as the sun was setting. It was a great route, and overall a great short trip (Angleworm-Beartrap-Crooked-Home) but we were just two younger guys with no itinerary; most other groups I've paddled with would not have been pleased with spending half of one of the longest days of the year trying to find an open site.


One thing I will say, which I've recommended on this board in the past and I hope to repeat in the future, is our entrance strategy. We entered at Angleworm very late in the day and camped on Angleworm Lake without getting our canoe wet. Yes, I know plenty of people will object to this strategy; it's not for everyone but it let us sleep off that first portage and start our 'first' day on the water very early. I had watched OP and OH permits issued for a week ahead of our trip on recreation.gov to assure us that one of the 7 sites on Angleworm would be available and when we arrived every single one was open. Crunching the numbers, this route to Iron only saves 4 miles of paddling over a Mudro entry at the cost of 2 miles of (single) portaging, but with a late hike on day 0 you'll wake up on day 1 a lot closer to Iron.


Such a late entry at any other entry point would be foolish."



Thanks, for the input. I like your Angleworm idea. Never thought about it that way, but it makes a ton of sense. If permits were still available I would consider doing that. Maybe next time.

I was able to get the PMA for Sundial so I'll plan to get to Sunday Lake and then depending on time/energy we will decide to either stay or push forward to Iron. Thanks for your 4 hour estimate from Sunday to Iron John Moore. I will keep that in mind.
John Moore
Guest Paddler
 
02/10/2022 08:05AM  

RaherbeDuffing, good call on reserving a PMA permit, it will give you more options to allow for unforeseen delays while traveling.

I have photos of Sunday lake and the Beartrap river, I used the time that the photos where taken to estimate the travel times I posted earlier. We could easily have traveled faster but at 65 and 71 years old and with no agenda we mostly just maintained a steady pace until we reached Gull lake at which time we met forest service officers who were sweeping the campsites informing everyone to exit because of the fire closures.

It is difficult to estimate travel time for a future trip even when you are familiar with the route because of the unforeseen circumstances. Other than the pace we set our biggest hindrance to travel time was the low water levels and locating the start to a few of the portages on the Beartrap river. Once located I felt the portages along the Beartrap through the PMA were well traveled, they were easy to follow and negotiate.

John

P.S. ( off topic )
SNS, if you see this I read your " Tinker Time " post and I am considering a DIY portage pack constructed with hyper D 300 fabric and a bug shelter as a winter project also. I know there are few responses on the DIY thread but there may be others like myself that watch with interest.

Thanks, John



02/10/2022 04:11PM  
John Moore: "P.S. ( off topic )
SNS, if you see this I read your " Tinker Time " post and I am considering a DIY portage pack constructed with hyper D 300 fabric and a bug shelter as a winter project also. I know there are few responses on the DIY thread but there may be others like myself that watch with interest.

Thanks, John"


Off topic, but good stuff and good to know. Post pics of your progress.

OP - smart to lay up on that one, unless you are single portaging and setting speed records.
 
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