BWCA Curtain Falls - How to Safely Approach from below Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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cyclones30
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05/15/2022 12:28PM  
In most any water level, the lower end of curtain falls can cause a canoe to swamp if someone approaches the channel-side landing marked on most maps. With the high waters....I can only assume it's even more dangerous now trying to get to that landing.

Instead, there's an alternate landing in the bay near that campsite where you can go about your business without worries of current. There are threads on this from years past but I figured with the high water it was worth a reminder.

Take the green route if on Iron and going to Curtain Falls, not the black one. (unless you like adventure and/or swimming) I'm sure there are 100 more spots with high water to comment on possible dangers but this is an easy one at a popular spot. Also shout out to Voyageur maps for getting theirs back viewable online

 
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05/15/2022 12:44PM  
I’ve done the swimming... the current also sends you away from shore as was my experience. That was the first time heading to that portage on that side. I normally go the way you propose. The “ledge” looks fun... oh, it’s fun alright! Haha.
 
cyclones30
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05/15/2022 02:07PM  
I've camped at that nearest site and we went fishing in the current there one evening. We decided to see how bad it was....I'm not sure I've ever felt more unstable in the few seconds we were getting spun around and spit back out. But we were dry! Never again since there's a choice. I'm sure it would have been fine if we were paddling hard and paying attention but we were fishing more than navigating and bam
 
GopherAdventure
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05/15/2022 10:01PM  
My dad and I were just discussing this spot tonight. That spot gives you a true appreciation of the power of moving water. I can’t imagine how swiftly that water is moving over that “V” spot right now. I take the back door portage almost everytime I’m over there, but right now it seems like a no brainer. Scary spot to end up in the drink.

Tony
 
HowardSprague
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05/15/2022 11:01PM  
Thanks cyclones - while I’m not headed that way this year, hopefully one day soon, and this is super valuable information!
 
05/15/2022 11:59PM  
Super high water and rapids roaring-be careful.
 
05/16/2022 07:38AM  
I've only used the longer, "alternate" landing. It's longer but even in what I had considered to be normal water levels, I didn't think I could get my canoe into the channel landing without a lot of "rocking and rolling"....and eventually going for a swim! It'll be awhile I imagine, for water levels to return to normal. Rain in the forecast for at least 2/3rd of the state this week (mostly towards the weekend)....
 
PeaceFrog
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05/16/2022 10:31AM  
Thank you Cyclone. Heading there for a day trip in a couple weeks
 
EddyTurn
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05/16/2022 05:54PM  
I'd say people with w/w experience will have no problem figuring out if the upstream run of the channel is feasible, depending on water levels (in low water it can be lined). Those not used to paddling rapids will be good served by an alternative landing.
 
Stumpy
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05/16/2022 06:36PM  
HowardSprague: "Thanks cyclones - while I’m not headed that way this year, hopefully one day soon, and this is super valuable information!"

Ditto that !
I did not know about this take-out spot.
Besides, I like to portage.
I've bushwhacked over peninsulas, to save 15 minutes of paddling, and stretch the legs.
Thank you cyclones !
 
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