BWCA Frost Lake to Little Sag Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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02/20/2024 09:22AM  
Has anyone made it from Frost Lake to Little Sag in one day via the Frost River? I’ve been to Frost Lake and I’ve been to Little Sag. I’ve never been to both lakes on the same trip. This May I’m planning to enter at the Cross Bay Lake EP and exit at Round Lake. I’ve got six days and would like to spend two nights on Frost and two on Little Sag. Any info you’re willing to share would be appreciated.

 
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02/20/2024 10:27AM  
I went from Frost to Little Sag in one day on my ice out trip last spring. It was a long day but really fun as I was aided by high and fast water and only had to pull over one beaver dam and skipped 2 or 3 portages by running the rapids. I left my site on Frost at 7 and got to my site on Little Sag at 4. I also stopped to film quite a bit and double carried. You can see the video on my YouTube channel. I would definitely do that trip again.
02/20/2024 10:28AM  
We did Frost to Little Saganaga in one day 1990. Its 17 portages I believe. We had fairly high water levels so we had no beaver dams to slow us down. Did it on June 22, so we had lots of daylight hours. I believe things have changed with the beaver situation and that might slow you down. Get more recent info on that. Unless there is a bunch of late winter snow water levels might be low even in May.

We had a cold breakfast on the run and were on the water headed to the first portage very early. Didn't hurry while traveling, because it is a beautiful run with lots of wildlife. We did keep moving all day, however. Little Sag had a lot campers that day and we were searching for a site in the twilight.

If you are single portaging that will help.

If you are efficient travelers and well organized portagers go for it
02/20/2024 11:43AM  
Thanks for the great replies. I’ll certainly check out your video.

I’ll be single portaging, this will be a solo trip.
TreeBear
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02/20/2024 01:33PM  
The experience you'll have on the Frost is entirely dependent on the year, the time of year, and, by extension, the water levels. Efficient portaging is also key. My first time through it, we were running/lining any rapids we could for the fun of it and made it from Cross Bay to Little Sag via the Frost, but we didn't get in until about 10:00 pm. The next time through, the water was much, much lower. We were beaching canoes mid-river. On that trip, we went from Frost Lake to Mora and didn't get in until 9:45. It is a marvelous route with stellar solitude at times, but it can have teeth if the water is low. Keep it in mind and anticipate slow travel times and you'll do fine.

02/20/2024 02:52PM  
dschult2: "I went from Frost to Little Sag in one day on my ice out trip last spring. It was a long day but really fun as I was aided by high and fast water and only had to pull over one beaver dam and skipped 2 or 3 portages by running the rapids. I left my site on Frost at 7 and got to my site on Little Sag at 4. I also stopped to film quite a bit and double carried. You can see the video on my YouTube channel. I would definitely do that trip again."


Great video, exactly what I was looking for.
You’re right about the portage from Mora to Little Sag being a favorite portage ever.
I entered EP 55 last year right after ice out too.
Ahahn366
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02/24/2024 07:55PM  
I'm looking at the same thing myself, entering on May 15 at Cross River and planning on 2 days on Frost, I would like to grab the spot on bologna to shorten the day but we'll see. Maby we will cross paths
02/25/2024 06:47PM  
Several years ago we did the Frost River in low water conditions. We call that area the BWPA. The Boundary Waters Portaging Area!! We were thankful that the Bologna site was open. Great memories even though it was a tough couple of days.
landoftheskytintedwater
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02/27/2024 01:51PM  
My wife and I did it seven years ago. I think it took us about 8 hours single portaging. Maybe a little less. It's a tough day for sure but once you make it through the river and the goat portage leaving Afton you can slog your way to Little Sag.
Michwall2
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02/28/2024 10:04AM  
So I guess I have to ask the question: Why the rush? If you have already been on both Frost Lake and Little Sag, why do the Frost River at interstate speeds? It is one of the jewels of the BW and you are going to crank through it just to get somewhere you have already been? I know your goals are your own, but I thought I would ask.
02/28/2024 02:07PM  
Michwall2: "So I guess I have to ask the question: Why the rush? If you have already been on both Frost Lake and Little Sag, why do the Frost River at interstate speeds? It is one of the jewels of the BW and you are going to crank through it just to get somewhere you have already been? I know your goals are your own, but I thought I would ask."


Who mentioned rushing, going at interstate speeds, or cranking through it? People are saying it’s a long, slow day, but very doable. Not one post has suggested I needed to crank through it, rushing at interstate speeds. I want to fish Frost Lake for two days and Little Sag for two days during peak lake trout season. I have six days, and the obvious connection between these two lakes is the Frost River. I want to camp on Laker lakes, hence the question of my post. A long day of travel is very enjoyable to me.

Otherwise, thanks to everyone for the great info.
02/28/2024 02:22PM  
I did this solo two years ago in June, but I moved throught the route quickly do to conditions being right. It was not long after the exceptionally high water that year. I didn't have to get out of the canoe once, due to all the beaver dams being washed out along the frost river. Portage trails were in good condition at that time as well, with only one large downed tree across the trail on portage 136, which is actually on the SOUTH side of the river.

The last portage into Little Sag is a beautiful one. I single portaged but walked back up the trail to view the river. Little Sag can be tricky, so if you're getting there late or in higher winds so be prepared to pull up short if conditions aren't great.
 
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