BWCA How to get to Saganaga Lake entry point #55? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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From11thProvince
member (8)member
  
07/25/2023 03:45PM  
What are the options to get to Saganaga Lake? Can I drive straight to this entry point #55 (Saganaga Lake) and park there, unless there is no parking lot there? Or do I need to hire an outfitter to get a tow to Saganaga Lake?
https://bwca.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=maps.entrydetail&locid=55&zoom=14&size=500&ft=e&locname=Saganaga%20Lake
 
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07/25/2023 03:50PM  
You can enter right from the parking lot. I believe there is a parking fee at this lot, I always stay and park my car at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters when I enter EP55 so I'm not %100 sure.
From11thProvince
member (8)member
  
07/25/2023 04:07PM  
How do you get to entry point from the Voyageur Canoe Outfitters? And how many minutes?
07/25/2023 04:15PM  
You can canoe to the EP from the outfitter's dock or take a tow. The BWCA entry sign is not far from the parking lot or the outfitter, most people use a tow to get to American Point or other spots farther in the lake, not to get to the technical EP.

07/25/2023 04:32PM  

The Gull Lake entry is free with a large parking lot right next to Way of the Wilderness. You paddle the river past Voyager Canoe Outfitters and a small section called the rapids that’s usually not a challenge except in high water.
The other two entry points provided by Cook County are $5 a day or $20 a week.
The map on photo shows the three entry’s.
From11thProvince
member (8)member
  
07/25/2023 06:57PM  
How many miles/minutes to paddle from Gull Lake entry to Saganaga Lake?
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (394)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
07/26/2023 08:19AM  
From11thProvince: "How many miles/minutes to paddle from Gull Lake entry to Saganaga Lake?"


Depends on how fast you paddle. From Way of the Wilderness dock to the border of the BWCA into Saganaga, is about 1.5 miles. The average paddler could do that in 30 minutes. It's mostly river/channel so generally it's calm. If you plan on paddling all the way to American Point, then it's about 7 miles and how long that would take you entirely depends on the wind over Saganaga. Could take you 2-ish hours, could take you 8. Most people take a tow, trying to get across Saganaga on a windy day is quite dangerous, though the route to American Point does have some protection with larger islands along the way, should you need shelter from the wind.
07/26/2023 08:51AM  
From11thProvince: "How many miles/minutes to paddle from Gull Lake entry to Saganaga Lake?"


Lots of "starting block" questions... what is your trip plan, destination and activites?
07/27/2023 04:03PM  
I know of 3 places you can park in this area. All of which access Big Sag. I put a "P" mark for each spot I know of. You can use google maps to see it. Personally, I think the parking at the End of Trail (the "P" closest to the bottom) is the best parking location. But that is because I enjoy paddling Gull Lake and seeing the Entering the BWCA sign in the narrows. These are all free parking, btw.

From11thProvince
member (8)member
  
07/27/2023 05:59PM  
Thank you for your tips re the parking lot options and recommendation. If I go with the parking at the End of Trail (the "P" closest to the bottom), how does one get to Gull Lake? From the looks of it, portaging is required to cross over to Gull Lake. Am I correct? See an attached map with a drawn red dotted line from the parking lot.

07/27/2023 07:57PM  
When using google map I encourage checking with the satellite view because the accuracy of the maps is always in question. In this case, the map shows a connection between the little island and the shore to the west. The satellite view clearly shows it is not there.

You can drive up to the shore and there is lots of room to unload on a nice gravelly beach. Go and park and its just a minute walk back to your boat.

Also the put in spot and the parking area are quite evident on the satellite view.
07/27/2023 07:58PM  


Per satellite view, and recalling from the paddle last year, no portage.
billconner
distinguished member(8654)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
07/28/2023 06:12AM  
There is a paddle mapping website where you pick points and it shows route, paddle distances and times, portage distances and times, all customizable, etc. Very easy and useful. You can do some for free, but well worth the basic membership.
07/31/2023 04:10PM  
What the others have said. If you look at satellite view, you will see there is no portage. In fact, from Gull to Big Sag there are no portages at all.
From11thProvince
member (8)member
  
08/30/2023 09:41PM  


How long will it take to paddle from the shores of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters north to campsite #379? See an attached route. Is a tow encouraged?
08/31/2023 06:37AM  
Probably 2.5-3.5 hours, lots of factors can impact the time it takes.
salukiguy
distinguished member(598)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/01/2023 07:48PM  
I just paddled that stretch coming in from a trip and it too about 2 hours for a couple 60 year old paddlers. No wind or waves to speak of though.
 
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