BWCA First Time - Fall Lake to Basswood Lake Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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jaygraham
  
07/23/2023 02:27PM  
Hi All! I am brand new to this forum, and I was hoping to get some advice/recommendations for an upcoming trip to the Boundary Waters. My dad and I are planning our first trip for mid May 2024. We both have quite a bit of outdoors experience (backpacking, camping, fishing/hunting trips) and some limited canoe experience. As our first trip, we want to take it relatively easy, but we still want a challenge so maybe something of intermediate difficulty. Our main priority is fishing and we would like to basecamp somewhere and do day trips/fishing from that site. Our trip duration will be 4 days and 3 nights.

The route we are currently looking at is to go in at Fall Lake on Day 1 and paddle through Newton lake and Pipestone Bay and setting up a campsite someplace on the southern end of Upper Basswood Lake. From what I can find online, this is a 10-12 mile day, but it seems like that is doable? Are we being too optimistic? We would like to be able to get out of the motor zone, so if we could get close and then move camp a short distance the next day that would be fine. The goal would then be to fish from our camp for the next 2 days, and then paddle out the same route on Day 4.

Any thoughts/opinions on this plan? I would appreciate any knowledge people want to share about the difficulty, time of year, fishing advice, or anything else!

Thanks!
 
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Lentrowe
member (6)member
  
07/24/2023 06:55AM  
You should be just fine. My group recently went from the entry point to site #1616 (the small island in the middle of the paddle only area) in four hours on a calm day. We single portage and are all experienced, so we move quickly but its certainly doable for any level of experience.

Wind would likely be the limiting factor for you. But don't be afraid to camp on Pipestone Bay if you need, plenty of great fishing, great campsites, and in my opinion the hassle of motorboats is overblown on Pipestone & Jackfish bays.
Timberhawk
member (5)member
  
07/24/2023 12:21PM  
I took a similar trip fall of '22, going about 10 miles and three portages out. We ended up in the northern most area of Pipestone Bay, just before Basswood. If I remember, it was a 5-6hr trip on the way out and a 10hr trip on the way back due to the guy I went with having a wrist and back injury and battling some head winds as well. It was a lot for us both.

My group is a fishing-heavy group, so we decided that the additional paddling on such a short turnaround trip wasn't as necessary for us and have gone with a different option for future trips.

As for being concerned about the motorized area, we were just on the edge of the motorized boat area and still only saw two motored canoes in the 4 days we were there. This year I probably saw 20 canoes a day in the non-motorized area we camped in. I wouldn't be afraid to stop in the motorized area. In my experience, it is not overrun with traffic.
mgraber
distinguished member(1485)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
07/24/2023 03:21PM  
Been through there a number of times and motors are not usually a problem. We usually see few people and the fishing is very good as well. Getting up to the non motorized zone is usually not too difficult if the wind isn't fighting you the whole way. Do not be afraid of staying in Pipestone or Jackfish bays as they are usually not crowded and have great fishing.
08/01/2023 02:19PM  
you might want to consider a tow to get out of the motorzone, and farther into basswood from fall lake. Check out packsack outfitters on fall, I have used them multiple times, stayed there at beginning of trip, etc. Simple and efficent,
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(5669)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
08/01/2023 02:48PM  
Welcome to bwca.com!

If you haven't done so already? Be sure to scroll around on the maps section . Just click on the dots.
walleyevision
distinguished member (246)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/01/2023 02:59PM  
buz: "you might want to consider a tow to get out of the motorzone, and farther into basswood from fall lake. Check out packsack outfitters on fall, I have used them multiple times, stayed there at beginning of trip, etc. Simple and efficent,"


Not possible anymore from Fall. They will tow through Fall and Newton, but not through Pipestone.
 
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