BWCA South Kawishiwi river Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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member (26)member
05/27/2022 01:28PM  
Anyone been down the south kawishiwi river in the last week?
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distinguished member(4155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
05/27/2022 09:35PM  
Call the ranger station or nearest outfitter. You'll get the most accurate or recent water levels and activity
distinguished member(1934)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/31/2022 01:38PM  
Just got back:
We entered at S. Kawishiwi on the 28th. We had a report from some exiting folks that the first little 5 rod portage was a raging torrent, so they had gone down the vee, but they didn't know how we would get up it. However, they were wrong. They apparently had trouble finding the portage as they were going downstream and mistook the side channel of the river for the portage. The portage is just fine, but on the upstream side we used the landing that was more protected from the current flow. We camped at the bottom of the triangle (site 1131, I map handy). We have experience in current and paddled up that swiftwater to the better campsite landing without issue (just a bit winded). The campsite was in good shape, but clearly the whole upstream landing had been underwater earlier in May.

On Sunday, we did a day trip clockwise around the whole triangle. No issues to report. Some portage entrances and exits still require awareness and planning in regards to the current, but nothing was dangerous. If you have zero experience in burbling, bubbling current in a canoe just don't over react and keep paddling forward. The 210 rod portage on the north Kawishiwi was fine and the falls were fun to go see...absolute torrent! The upstream landing was so different looking than when we were there in Sept. 2016...the shrubs our son hid in on that trip had water lapping through them. When we left the North Kawishiwi and entered the South Kawishiwi, we realized that we could have skipped the 2nd 15 rod portage and easily run down the swiftwater, but also no big deal to just portage. That portage is still slightly flooded, but did not have any moving water on the portage anymore...but plenty of evidence it had not long ago.

On the way back to the entry point Monday, we skipped the 5 rod portage and ran thru the swiftwater. Other than that and the stuff mentioned above, we didn't feel it wise with the boat we had to attempt running any other rapids despite our experience.

The portage out to the parking lot had a fresh tree come down in the Monday morning storm and we were the first folks through. Removed some branches but weren't carrying equipment to clear it fully. Monday night's storm may have brought down more...ya never know.

Plan for extra mud on most portages. Bugs just starting to come out.

Have fun and be safe.

member (26)member
06/09/2022 12:44PM  
Entering EP 30 on the 17th going down the south Kawishiwi, anyone been this way lately? If so how do things look?
member (26)member
06/09/2022 03:08PM  
I did, they were not much help, just generic high water levels use caution around the portages.
06/09/2022 06:15PM  
firemed1916: "I did, they were not much help, just generic high water levels use caution around the portages."

Two things. One-learn how to use the "reply with a quote" feature so people will know who you are replying to. Two-read straighthairedcurly's post.
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