BWCA Seagull to SAK Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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SouthernExposure
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02/09/2023 07:52PM  
My daughter (34) and I will be entering on Seagull Lake (EP54) and heading through Ogish and on to the South Arm of Knife in the middle of June. If we commit to double portaging, is it plausible to make that route in one day or should we plan on camping on Ogish before heading over? We are both experienced BWCA trippers. Thanks for the intel.
 
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YetiJedi
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02/09/2023 08:27PM  
That'll be a cool trip with your daughter!

It looks to be about 16 miles, mostly paddling and the portages are basically straightforward and short. I would imagine the weather would play a significant role. If it is a decent day I think my daughter and I could make that trip in 8-9 hours would be my guess. We don't trip fast, double portage, and stay close to shore...all add time.

That said, with my older daughters we try and go as far as we can on the first day and we would do our best to make it to SAK but would be willing to stop somewhere else if we felt like it for some reason.

Good luck on your trip...I hope it goes well!
TuscaroraBorealis
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02/09/2023 09:03PM  
Yeti gives good advice.

Covered 19+ miles (including a bone dry Horse River adventure a couple years ago) doing 1 1/2 portages. So, I would say it is doable but, only you know your bodies/capabilities. And, there are many variables to consider.

Generally speaking: if it's an exceedingly windy day I would probably pull up short (Jenny or Eddy) and grab a camp to avoid having to search for a site on very popular destination lake SAK late in a long day and thus not being compelled to battle big waves with noodle like arms.
Michwall2
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02/09/2023 09:59PM  
You don’t say how long you are going to be tripping. If you have the time try heading south out of Ogish through Mueller Lake to Mueller Falls about a quarter mile east on the Kekakabic Trail. Gives you a good excuse to stop on Ogish for a night.

SouthernExposure
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02/09/2023 11:06PM  
There are some compelling thoughts here about not trying to stretch it out too far in a day. She and I will discuss the options and depending on how we feel at that point, we will consider grabbing one of the campsites on Eddy leaving us with only one portage the next morning into SAK. Thanks. We should have fun.
YetiJedi
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02/09/2023 11:41PM  
SouthernExposure: "There are some compelling thoughts here about not trying to stretch it out too far in a day. She and I will discuss the options and depending on how we feel at that point, we will consider grabbing one of the campsites on Eddy leaving us with only one portage the next morning into SAK. Thanks. We should have fun."


Enjoy the planning! Considering options during the planning stage, I think, sure opens up intriguing possibilities.

Here's a few photos from site 1428 on Eddy - I think it's the best site on the lake. Smaller campsite but the fire pit is right on the water with a good view. There's a trail up the small hill behind camp with a nice view. We caught fish from camp and also had a very large pike "self-release" right at the boat.


SouthernExposure
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02/09/2023 11:51PM  
YetiJedi: "Here's a few photos from site 1428 on Eddy - I think it's the best site on the lake. "

Have you seen the 2033 campsite on the east end of Eddy? The reviews are very good for it as well. Options.
Stichy64
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02/10/2023 02:29PM  
My son and I did this trip last year. Same route you’re proposing. We are both competent paddlers and could have made knife in one day but decided to stay on Ogish for a night. Knife is a very popular destination and as such can be really busy. Campsites can be tough to find late in the day. By spending the night on Ogish we were able to arrive early to knife and snag a premium site. Good luck on your trip. It’s a great route!
TreeBear
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02/10/2023 04:51PM  
Other folks have covered most of what I would have said. I have taken that route a number of times both on personal trips and as a guide. It's a pretty good trek from Seagull to SAK for one day. It's possible for sure as the group of high schoolers I was guiding made the run to Jenny without too much trouble. There are a few things to watch for though. You would be making it late into SAK which could make finding a campsite tough as others mentioned. SAK feeds from both the Gunflint and Ely (mainly Snowbank and Moose.) The Boyscouts in particular dump a bunch of groups that way every day and they all seem to take the same route up Knife. As such, there's often a lot of traffic centered around the Eddy Falls area. There are ways to avoid the traffic (portage off somewhere else or take a poor sight) but if SAK is your destination for the trip, getting a nice site earlier on day two might be the ticket. There are also a few possible slow downs namely wind from the west on Seagull, navigation choices on Seagull, and the Alpine highway. Wind makes it a LONG paddle on Seagull. Depending on the route chosen through the islands (based on which landing you use) Seagull can also throw in some unforeseen speedbumps. And it's not unheard of to get caught in traffic heading into Alpine. That said, it's very possible to make SAK if everything goes well. As for the site on Eddy, it's a fine site. It's nice that all of Eddy's campsites are off of the travel routes a bit.

Best of luck, sounds like a great trip.
YetiJedi
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02/10/2023 05:29PM  
SouthernExposure: "
YetiJedi: "Here's a few photos from site 1428 on Eddy - I think it's the best site on the lake. "

Have you seen the 2033 campsite on the east end of Eddy? The reviews are very good for it as well. Options."


Yep, we visited all three sites. Site 2033 is similar to 1428. I suppose I like 1428 because we had a good experience there and the view up the hill behind the camp was cool. But both sites are about the same from a functional perspective.

How much time do you have for your trip? That might impact route options.

Perhaps you might consider a loop: tow to American Point, paddle to Ottertrack on Day 1, then to SAK on day 2. You could then exit through Ogish to Seagull. I would be more confident in leaving from SAK to your ending point because you don't have to find a site and set up camp. You'd also be on the bigger water with the likelihood of prevailing winds helping your paddling efforts - although I've never personally experienced a tailwind, I hear a small one is pleasant!
SouthernExposure
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02/10/2023 05:46PM  
I have already secured an entry permit for Seagull (54) so that has to be our EP this time. I know that there are several routes to SAK and they may be what we do in the future. We are going to be entering early on 6/16 and are planning on exiting on 6/24. We both love fishing and plan on inviting some walleyes and SMB to dinner as often as we can. We have talked about doing a day trip up through Hanson and looping back down through Amoeber. Every plan we have has an understanding of the effect that weather can have on it all.
02/12/2023 03:27PM  
double portaging is right about 8.5 hours , get as early of a start as you can , once you get seagull behind you , the rest is fairly short paddles and portages , i like this way as my old body doesnt have to paddle or portage any great distances ,
to give you a time reference , having done 15 openers into the SAK , Ogish is ALWAYS a 1hour 10min. paddle,,, and then it's just little short hops and skips & jumps through annie-jennie-eddy ;)
S.E. i cant see anybody's email on here , . email me and i'll send you a map of fishing spots in that back bottle neck bay just east of Eddy falls darrylldeb425@gmail.com
& as Treebear stated the wind on seagull (it can be a different animal) , watch your weather forcast for the morning you are going in, been in dire straights more than once seagull , i always have a large mug handy as i've bailed water out more than once on seagull LOL ;)
traveling the north side of 3-mile does give you a little more protection from a west wind , and if you travel the south side of 3-mile you will have the option of going through rog and possibly avoiding a backup at the alpine portage ??? but that will add about a half hour + to your time line.

MarshallPrime
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02/13/2023 07:55AM  
Based on my experience on that route (3 trips), I would slow down on Day 1 and enjoy the journey. I didnt see how many days you are tripping but if I was going to hurry 1 way or the other I would try to get out in 1 day...you are stronger and packs lighter. I am assuming you are doing 5 nights so I would do 1 night on Ogish or Jenny, 2 nights at 1 site on SAK and 2 on another then paddle out.
There are bunch of short and annoying portages on this route and they take time. They are not hard but take time.

Good luck, have a great trip.
 
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