BWCA Has anyone done day trips into BWCA while staying at a cabin? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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1egads
member (6)member
  
05/19/2024 09:22PM  
And if so, where? We have a group of four people, all with common sense, all fairly fit, and mostly newbies to the BWCA (one person went on a guided trip into the BWCA 30 years ago). We range in age from 63-73. Right now we have a permit for EP30 into Lake One during late September. We have lined up an outfitter. Plan is to stay for three nights and explore during the day, stay at one camp.

There's been discussion of finding a cabin to stay in and making forays from the cabin. Has anyone else done this? Is there any place that it would be possible?

Thanks in advance for helpful advice.
 
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05/20/2024 08:00AM  
I did a trip off the Gunflint Trail where I used campgrounds and did various different day paddles. It was nice enough for my first long ago BWCA trip but as soon as I got the gear I needed to travel in the back country I did and only used cabins/campgrounds at the start or end of trips.
05/20/2024 08:26AM  
Click on the Lodging tab at the top of your computer's browser window (or in the menu if you are using a cell phone). You'll see many cabin options there around Ely and the Gunflint Trail. You can stay at a cabin and fill out a day pass whenever you want to enter the BWCA for a day trip.

And welcome to BWCA.com!
05/20/2024 02:23PM  
I do this quite often, originally from a resort cabin on the White Iron/Farm chain and now from my travel trailer at Fall Lake. Plenty of good day trip options:

EP30 Lake One and then back west on the Kawishiwi River

EP31 Farm Lake up to the long portage on the North Kawishiwi, over to Clear Lake, or even the entire triangle if you're very ambitious

EP32 South Kawishiwi up towards Clear Lake. If you're a runner you could even push through to Little Gabbro and then run the 2-ish miles back to your car at the EP 32 lot.

EP14 Fall Lake up to Pipestone Falls or over to Ella Hall Lake

Many others as well.

JD
cwallace
member (42)member
  
05/20/2024 02:30PM  
1egads: "And if so, where? We have a group of four people, all with common sense, all fairly fit, and mostly newbies to the BWCA (one person went on a guided trip into the BWCA 30 years ago). We range in age from 63-73. Right now we have a permit for EP30 into Lake One during late September. We have lined up an outfitter. Plan is to stay for three nights and explore during the day, stay at one camp.

There's been discussion of finding a cabin to stay in and making forays from the cabin. Has anyone else done this? Is there any place that it would be possible?

Thanks in advance for helpful advice."


What are the dates in September?
GunflintTrailAngler
distinguished member (132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 02:54PM  
There’s many places off the gunflint trail side for day trips. I’ve personally done day trips on Daniels and Sawbill Lakes.
05/20/2024 04:16PM  
Yes - many times during the summer. We have a cabin between Two Harbors and Ely and will day trip in the neighborhood of South Kawish to Perent.

Lots of commercial cabins available at various lodges, resorts or outfitters, as well as some short term rentals as well.
1egads
member (6)member
  
05/20/2024 05:48PM  
The dates we are headed up there are Sept 21-24. We have flexibility with that date.
1egads
member (6)member
  
05/20/2024 09:42PM  
I forgot to add that I posted those dates for @cwallace…I am still figuring out how to use the message board (I think I got it now??). I appreciate all the great advice. I will pull out the map and look up the places everyone has graciously suggested.
We have a few places on the short list—near Big Lake, Moose Lake, and one over on Gunflint Trail. I haven’t looked at short term rentals yet.
05/21/2024 07:25AM  
My parents live close to the BWCA and I use their house as my base camp throughout the year. Lots of different places to day trip. I end up doing a little more driving than I would like, but a better option if you can't get a permit or would rather sleep on a mattress.
Big Lake offers a few options for day trips. Big Lake, Lapond, Big Rice. Day trip to Big Moose, Pauness, LIS north or south, Stuart River, Hegman, etc.
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3437)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2024 08:20AM  
We did a day trip from Smitty's on Snowbank - now Snowbank Lodge - into Parent Lake. Had a fun day catching smallies and I got a nice 12# northern. Not a bad portage, just kinda rocky.

If your permit is for Lake One, look into Kawishiwi Lodge.
05/21/2024 08:38AM  
I did this back during Covid when we couldn't stay overnight in the BWCA. We stayed at a cabin at Voyagers Canoe Outfitters. It was a lot of fun. We stayed for 3 full days, one on Sea Gull, one with a motored boat we brought on Sag, and a third that we loaded in the truck and brought over to Round Lake and portaged into Tuscarora.

It was a great trip. Being able to go back to the cabin at night let us sleep a little better than camping on the ground. Cooking was a little easier too. I really enjoyed this trip because I was able to talk my dad into joining us. His sleeping on the ground days are behind him.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14435)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
  
05/21/2024 09:05AM  
I would recommend you stay at Clearwater lodge and do day trips into the BWCA. Plenty of things to do and explore. Visit the palisades 400’ above the lake, stunning.
sandrabarry
  
05/21/2024 09:11AM  
No but let me know if that is worth it or not.
05/21/2024 11:43AM  
One thing I forgot to mention is that the benefit of staying at a cabin is that it gives you mobility. You can hop in your car and take your canoe to a different entry point for a daytrip. This is why I would recommend the Gunflint Trail over Ely. You can travel a fair distance to visit multiple entry points without going into town.
Findian
member (34)member
  
05/21/2024 03:27PM  
There is an old fashion resort 20 miles out of Finland called Crooked Lake Resort. There is a chain 3 lakes from there. Also, up the road from there is Tee Lake. Not bwca lakes but you won't see anyone on either. Also, there is the Timber Frear loop 5 miles from the resort.
1egads
member (6)member
  
05/21/2024 03:47PM  
Finding -- The place in Finland intrigues me. It might not work this time, but definitely on the list for next with a little more planning.

A1t2o --Thanks for the information about Gunflint vs. Ely!
05/21/2024 04:26PM  
Yes. Stayed at Tuscarora Lodge and Outfitters. From our cabin on Round lake we paddled and portaged into Missing Link and Brant on different days. Just drove up to the Round lake public landing to fill out day permits then drove back to our cabin (minutes) and paddled out from our cabins dock. I would also suggest Rockwood on Poplar Lake and Meeds or Lizzy entries.
1egads
member (6)member
  
05/21/2024 05:38PM  
Rockwood looks wonderful - we had it on our list, then checked and they are fully booked in September! Word has obviously gotten around :-)
jsmithxc
member (46)member
  
05/22/2024 06:55AM  
I do this all the time from home living in the Minneapolis. I spend the night before nearby where I want to paddle, usually sleeping in my vehicle, and get on the water early with a day permit, available at the entry point. I always check the weather, especially wind forecasts and bring emergency gear, enough to survive a night since I usually solo. If you cross a big lake in the morning (Brule for example) and the winds are bad in the afternoon it is tempting to go for it when a better choice might be to wait until evening, hence emergency gear and a flashlight. There are shorter loops possible, like Homer to Brule, or just do a out and back, especially if the weather is questionable, you can do this from any EP and have a great time.
jsmithxc
member (46)member
  
05/22/2024 06:55AM  
I do this all the time from home living in the Minneapolis. I spend the night before nearby where I want to paddle, usually sleeping in my vehicle, and get on the water early with a day permit, available at the entry point. I always check the weather, especially wind forecasts and bring emergency gear, enough to survive a night since I usually solo. If you cross a big lake in the morning (Brule for example) and the winds are bad in the afternoon it is tempting to go for it when a better choice might be to wait until evening, hence emergency gear and a flashlight. There are shorter loops possible, like Homer to Brule, or just do a out and back, especially if the weather is questionable, you can do this from any EP and have a great time.
Barca
member (46)member
  
05/22/2024 11:56AM  
Favorite option for that is Kawishiwi lodge on lake one. (I'm sure they're listed under the outfitters tab). As it's located on Lake One itself it's a paddle only resort. No concerns about dodging motorboats before you enter the BWCA proper. Extremely nice cabins as well, seems to be more set up for enjoying the stay than some.

Only issue may be length of stay, at least during the summer they're a week rental. Worth asking though as that's toward the end of the season. Frank and his family have always been great to work with.
05/22/2024 01:40PM  
Golden Eagle Lodge off the Gunflint. They are the only folks on Flour Lake, and you can get into the BW in one portage from Flour and they have day permits available at the Lodge. Place is very, very nice!
 
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