BWCA Malberg in July Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Reke0402
senior member (80)senior membersenior member
 
02/22/2022 09:38AM  
Starting to plan our trip out of EP 37 i was originally thinking to base camp either on Koma or Malberg but reading more trip reports it seems like everyone heads to Malber to base camps there. Would trying a bit north to Adams give a a better shot at losing more ppl?
 
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Lawnchair107
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02/22/2022 10:29AM  
100%. Adams is a fantastic lake with some great campsites, too.
02/22/2022 10:55AM  
Adams is a cool lake, and certainly sees fewer people.
Be aware: if you are going at average speed and double-portaging, that is a very, very long day from Kawishiwi lake EP.
dustytrail
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02/22/2022 12:22PM  
Adams is a great lake with fewer folks. The island site is super nice. Maps show 2 portages out of Beaver. Be sure to take the south one. Beaver also has a nice elevated site and I have stayed there multiply days without seeing anyone. Lastly Malberg is not always crowed in July, so don't rule it out completely. I think most base campers stop on Polly and with 2 fewer permits/day from 37 Malberg may be wide open.
02/22/2022 01:07PM  
Malberg is very doable in one day. Done it a few times. Pretty busy lake, I would push a bit further. We went the river route over to the Fishdance area, one lake that way that I really like. I’d stick with your plan to hit Adams.
AirPrex
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
02/22/2022 01:38PM  
We did a shorter June trip and longer August trip through EP 37 last year. For the short trip we stayed on Malberg and while our top choices in campsites were taken, there were still a few options and the lake didn't feel too crowded. In August we did a layover day on Malberg (again with our top campsites being taken but still had a couple of options) and then went up to Adams for the bulk of our trip. Definitely second taking the southern portage from Beaver into Adams. We went for the northern one on the way in and it was difficult to find and overgrown and we made sure to avoid it on the way out. We also got that island site and would stay there again. Caught lots of fish from camp. I'd recommend doing a layover on the way out if you're staying on Adams also. We went to Polly the day before exit and had no trouble finding a site for the night.
cyclones30
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02/22/2022 06:37PM  
Malberg never feels busy because at any one time you can only see a small portion of the lake.

I agree with the comment on it being a LONG day if you're going all the way on day 1 to the Adams area. If you're efficient and single portage, no problem. If you aren't both of those....I might spend the first night at Koma or Malberg and then have a nice day 2 paddle to get a site on Adams the next morning instead of the prior evening.
lindylair
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02/22/2022 07:39PM  
Went to Malberg several years ago in mid July and was surprised to have our pick of campsites, lake was pretty empty. But that was pre-pandemic. We stayed on site 1051 which is very comfortable with a nice sand beach. It took us 7 hours to get there double portaging and not hurrying. Malberg is a great lake and also decent sized lake full of points, bays, islands and channels. If you look at a map, few of the campsites on Malberg are really close to or in view of another. Allows for some good privacy. And there are some really nice sites on Malberg. Also a great spot for daytrips in several different directions.

Haven't been north of there, I am sure that is nice and even more remote. We went over to River Lake and found that to be to our liking, nice campsites and very good fishing. Also a great sand beach site on Amber Lake if you like that. Very quiet lake.

Be prepared for a beaver dam pullover or two on the way to Polly, and the fact that you will be paddling through a burn area. That pretty much ends on the south shore of Polly which is a beautiful lake in it's own right, but generally pretty busy.

It's a great area, one of my favorites - hope you have a great trip.
Michwall2
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02/23/2022 03:11PM  
What is the purpose of your basecamp? Fishing? Exploration?

Malberg is a nexus in the BW for travel to many different directions and activities.

Malberg is a fishing lake in its own right. Many people have a favorite walleye spot on this lake.

More sightseeing? What do you want to see from here?

Go southwest on River Lake/Kawishiwi River to see the pictographs on Fishdance Lake. Stop on Amber Lake to swim from its golden sand beach.
Go northwest to Adams/Boulder for a bit more solitude along the loop.
Go northeast to Makwa Lake for its beautiful cliffs and a chance to try catching a lake trout.
Go east along the Louse River to really find solitude. Be prepared to work for it though. Many beaver dams and some route finding challenges are the price you pay for being alone.

I agree that Adams is a long stretch for one day. Pretty tuckered out by the time I get to Malberg. If Adams is your ultimate goal, I would pull up on Koma and make Adams your second day goal.

Hope you have a great trip.



02/23/2022 05:37PM  
That is a good summary of the area. BTW Malberg has huge bluegills in the weeds in front of the big rock in the river to the left of the put in, smallies in the current. It is a relatively fertile lake for BW, hence the fishing can be good.
tumblehome
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02/23/2022 06:54PM  
I’ve always been amazed at how people tell the interweb all the great fishing spots and best campsites.

There used to be a fantastic site that I would visit every couple of years on Lac LaCroix. This was in the 80’s and 90’s.

It so used up now that it is a wreck and some people give it a one star on their ratings. So sad.
Sorry, had to rant.

Tom
Lawnchair107
distinguished member (197)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/23/2022 07:50PM  
tumblehome:

It so used up now that it is a wreck and some people give it a one star on their ratings. So sad.
Sorry, had to rant.
Tom"


Tom, and this is based on presumably the interweb?
 
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