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lindylair
distinguished member(2673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/14/2022 03:33PM  
For those of you familiar with this area, I remember and have read about a tricky portage exit at the top of a rapids on the way in from Baker Lake. In this high water do you think it could be dangerous, challenging or just pay attention?

Also, with Kelly and Jack Lakes being part of the Temperance River flowage is it likely that there will be more current in those lakes due to the raging waterways?

Just curious.
 
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jsmithxc
Guest Paddler
 
05/14/2022 03:54PM  
I have seen a picture of the boat landing at Baker and it is flooded. The water seems so high I think the portage into Peterson would be flooded and water really ripping through there but I do not know that for a fact. If I can launch I might paddle in and check it out Tuesday. If I do that I will let you know.
05/14/2022 04:30PM  
lindylair: "For those of you familiar with this area, I remember and have read about a tricky portage exit at the top of a rapids on the way in from Baker Lake. In this high water do you think it could be dangerous, challenging or just pay attention?

Also, with Kelly and Jack Lakes being part of the Temperance River flowage is it likely that there will be more current in those lakes due to the raging waterways?

Just curious. "


I would think it would be over the top of what your thinking. But if so- some serious current --- side swap it if possible. Like side swap WAY into the woods and you can still make your trip. Tuesday- I think your OK as waters "should" be subsiding"
TuscaroraBorealis
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05/14/2022 05:39PM  
As high as I'm hearing that the water is, it might all be flat water. ;) As I'm sure you know, if you're going in you'll be traveling upstream so, you will be able to scout things out without getting sucked down river. Another concern might be that the portage trail itself has become part of the rapid???

Peterson to Kelly will definitely be flatwater. Kelly to Jack may be flooded too. As I recall the river section between Weird & South Temperance could be very daunting in extremely high water as some of the portage landing were right at the base of the rapids.



Sorry, guess that really doesn't do much to truly answer your question. Ultimately, with the rapidly, ever changing conditions, I suspect you likely won't really know for sure until you get there.
lindylair
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05/14/2022 07:59PM  
thanks all for the insights...white wolf what do you mean by over the top of what we are thinking...I think an exit that you normally need to pay attention to to get away from the landing might be more or much more challenging this year. What is side swap, not familiar with the term, sounds like something I should know about.

Thx
05/14/2022 10:13PM  
That 1st portage from Baker to Peterson could be dangerous when you get to the other side and put back in at the top of the rapids. When I did my trip there with big duckling when she was 9 the water was high and I walked the canoe upstream a ways before paddling because I was worried about getting sucked down the rapids when trying to push off. When I got my permit for that trip they warned me because a few groups had been sucked down those rapids that week.

I imagine it’s way worse now than it was then.
cyclones30
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05/15/2022 12:11PM  
I've got no clue on your original question, but I saw some videos from Tuscarora outfitter on the cross river area and holy smokes. Someone is going to swamp or worse there. Raging rapids, knee deep water way back into the trees. No thanks
pswith5
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05/15/2022 12:16PM  
Yeah, I would expect water to be moving through portage from Baker to Petersen. I remember wading canoe through on the way back out about ten years ago. My brother wasn't an experienced paddler. The short portage into weird wasn't really moving but we had to watch for those rocks just below the surface. If my memory is right ( questionable) that Baker-Petersen was almost like a tunnel.
pswith5
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05/15/2022 05:05PM  
Hey Lindy, just saw a -last year/this year video of Kawishiwi river. It is SIgnificantly..higher water. Be careful out there!
lindylair
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05/15/2022 07:23PM  
I have taken that portage into Petersen many times and honestly have never felt threatened or even concerned. But it sounds like this year might be a whole new ballgame with epic high water levels. We will take the portage and scout it out and make our decision from there, hopefully it is passable or there is another bushwhack way to get our canoe and gear to the shores of Petersen Lake. If the portage itself is underwater , well that would be interesting. Thanks for all the input, keep it coming if anyone has anything to add.
WinoDave
 
05/16/2022 02:17PM  
Heading to the same spot tomorrow. Called the Forest Service and Sawtooth Outfitters to ask about conditions. Neither could say anything for certain accept that the entry point itself is flooded up to the parking lot. Both also mentioned that the good thing is I'll be going upstream and can therefore more easily gauge things. I'll keep an eye on this thread to see if there are any updates!
olentangyrunner
member (6)member
 
05/16/2022 02:41PM  
We are headed in that point on 5/21. Looking to get up to Cherokee then backdown through Sawbill. Let us know how it looks. Does anyone think Cherokee or Ada Creek are going to be a problem?
lindylair
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05/17/2022 12:29PM  
jsmithxc: "I have seen a picture of the boat landing at Baker and it is flooded. The water seems so high I think the portage into Peterson would be flooded and water really ripping through there but I do not know that for a fact. If I can launch I might paddle in and check it out Tuesday. If I do that I will let you know.
"


If you are able to get in and see the portage area that would be great. Love to hear your description and risk assessment and any photos you might have. Would be a big help. Developing a Plan B just in case...
Guest Paddler
 
05/20/2022 06:38PM  
Sorry, I got to the entry point and saw all that water and went elsewhere. Some cars were parked in the lot so I assume they made it in.
05/20/2022 06:52PM  
We just did the baker lake entry. If you don’t have fast water experience I would avoid this entry. Upstream it was ok, downstream left no room for maneuvering. We cut our trip short as a result and we are experienced whitewater paddlers
lindylair
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05/21/2022 06:21AM  
Thank you all, switched to a different entry point
05/21/2022 06:57AM  
lindylair: "Thank you all, switched to a different entry point"

Chicken! Bwahahahaha. As I was reading this thread I was thinking I would for sure be looking for a new entry point. Good luck and have a great trip.
WinoDave
 
05/27/2022 10:37AM  
I meant to post this earlier. I went in at Baker Lake on 5/17/22 and came out on the 21st. My original goal was to make it up to Cherokee Lake on a solo trip. The water was fast, but I was able to get in and out at portages no problem (the first one from Baker to Peterson was a little hairy) and traveling up the Temperance chain of lakes was no problem against current, no worse than I encounter paddling the backwaters of the Mississippi River where I live. However, all of the portages, beginning with the portage from Kelly to Jack Lakes were completely flooded, waist deep in some places. Footbridges were all washed away or completely under water. I figured I was already wet and it was a sunny day, so I might as well see how far I could get and dry off in camp. It wasn't cold. I made it to the portage past Weird Lake, to that little "S" shaped stretch of river before the long portage to South Temperance Lake. But when I saw how fast the water was moving on the other side I said "nope" and turned right around, heading back down through the flooded portages (fortunately the current was helping me this time). It was clear that no one had made it that for north on this route yet this spring, the muddy trails had no footprints.

I turned around an paddled all the way back down to one of the campsites on the little cove at the southern end of Kelly Lake and called it a day after 7.5 hours of solo paddling and portaging. I decided to head west the next day toward Sawbill and changed my plans for the rest of the trip. Once off of the Temperance River system, the water was high, but I encountered no other dangerous currents through Burnt, Smoke and Sawbill Lakes. Put ins at campsites and portages were just a little more complicated, but nothing dangerous.

I am not sure if the waters a receding yet, but as of a week ago I would not recommend anyone trying this route. Even once the water recedes, there is going to have to be some repair work done on those portages.
WinoDave
 
05/27/2022 10:53AM  
One more thing to add, because I may have made the water seem safer than they were. Currents at the portages are very fast. You have one chance going downstream. If you miss it, you are going over falls. Sawtooth Outfitters said that they lost 2 canoes in their fleet when I stopped back in after my trip.
midwesterner
member (17)member
 
05/27/2022 01:16PM  
I am supposed to enter at Baker on June 5. Far enough away to feel ok about going? Or would you look at alternate entry points? There dont seem to be many permits available in the area. I will be getting the canoe from Sawbill and planned on driving myself to the entry point. Any idea how far from Sawbill some of the entry points are? I appreciate any input anyone can provide.
Northwoodsman
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05/27/2022 04:18PM  
The only ones you are really going to want to drive to from Sawbill are:
- #38 Sawbill (the obvious one)
- #39 Baker Lake
- #37 Kawishiwi
- #36 Hog Creek
- #40 Homer
- #41 Brule
These are all within roughly 30 - 40 minutes on gravel roads.

lindylair
distinguished member(2673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/28/2022 07:20PM  
midwesterner: "I am supposed to enter at Baker on June 5. Far enough away to feel ok about going? Or would you look at alternate entry points? There dont seem to be many permits available in the area. I will be getting the canoe from Sawbill and planned on driving myself to the entry point. Any idea how far from Sawbill some of the entry points are? I appreciate any input anyone can provide. "

I had a Baker Lake entry point for 5/22 and cancelled it due to water levels. However, we talked to a couple parties who did go in and say it was not that bad. By June 5th I would think that everything will be fine, maybe still a little high but not dangerous. Water levels in the area in the week we were up there have receded a LOT.
mkdixon
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05/29/2022 02:18PM  
I went in at Baker Lake entry on 5/20. The paddle upstream from the first portage was a little tricky through the section with overhanging trees, but not too bad. I returned to the entry on 5/27 after a loop that included Frost River, Little Sag and return straight south through Sawbill, then back east. The water had dropped considerably during that time, and flow on the Temperence was no problem. The landing on the upstream side of the first portage is right at the start of the rapid, but you should have no problem getting in or out of there at this flow level.

Mark
 
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