Hi all, has anyone done the portage (PMA area) from Clearwater Lake to Rock Island/Lake Two lately? There are some old threads on here, but haven't seen any recent updates on if it's remotely passable. My partner and I are headed that way soon and taking two friends who are new to the area. We're both experienced but want to make sure it's not nightmarish for them. Would appreciate any experience or tips!
I did this route back in 2018- a loop starting at Lake One. This was about my tenth trip with an even more experienced partner. We could not find the entrance to the portage. A trail really didn't exist anymore- especially after the 2012 fires, and it was quite a bit of bushwhacking. My partner (my Dad) had done this loop back in the 80s while it was still maintained. Hardest "portage" I have ever done. Had burnt, open rock areas, brush at least 6 ft tall, downed trees, water up to my hips and everything in between. We made it to Judd and then to Rock Island, but pulled over all of those beaver dams as we could not find any remnants of a portage. Lake Two was culture shock after we were bloody, muddy and tired after the bushwhack. Got there with broken shoes and spirits. Thank goodness it was our going out day.
I would highly recommend against it unless you are familiar with bushwhacking, have PMA experience and are well prepared. If you do go, have your compass out, stick with your partner, wear safety glasses and buckle up for an adventure.
Thank you, that is honestly deeply helpful. My partner and I are both very experienced but maybe this isn't a great choice for our two new guests! My head wants to push through but my gut says maybe not a delightful choice. :)
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