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Grandma L
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03/03/2017 12:00PM  
This summer a couple of the grandkids are interested in a "pictograph" trip. What pictographs have you seen, where are they, and how hard are they to get to? Pictures please.
 
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schweady
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03/03/2017 12:06PM  
I've been to three sites and have returned a second time to the first two:

The North Hegman Lake pictographs are probably the easiest. They are also the most distinctive in contrast with the background rock. Two panels, with the "Orion Man" grouping being the most popular. You could do it in a day trip (2.0 mi one-way) from the South Hegman Lake EP, including one VERY short portage and a paddle to the north end of North Hegman. Handiest photos I have are all from a winter hike from the EP... (Second photo is of the minor grouping, lower and a bit south of the more well-known one.)






Those on Lac La Croix are the most extensive and perhaps the most popular. Many ways to get to these, but the easiest is probably north from Moose River North EP, through Nina Moose, Agnes, and Boulder Bay. We base camped on Agnes and it was a very pleasurable day trip north to the pictographs (5.6 mi, 2 hr one-way). Many panels to explore that are painted on the cliffs of Irving Island on the Canadian side. Many loom right in front of you while seated in your canoe. We had the pleasure of having the place to ourselves for over an hour there one August afternoon.






The paintings on Crooked Lake/Basswood River are perhaps in the most dramatic setting... drawn on looming cliffs on the US side. We went north from Mudro Lake EP, base camped on Horse. From there, it was a long but enjoyable day trip down the Horse River to Lower Basswood Falls and then another mile north to the pictos. Again, quite a number of them are at or just above eye level. Round-trip from our Horse Lake site was a 10 am-6 pm affair, and stands out as my all-time favorite day of all my years in the BW. (Even though we did not take the time for that side trip to Wheelbarrow Falls...)

BuckFlicks
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03/03/2017 05:19PM  
The only ones I've seen are on Fishdance. They're right on a cliff right on the water, you can easily see them from your canoe. It was a pretty strange experience, hard to define. I wouldn't quite say powerful, but it was profound for sure.

Ease to get to? I'd say you have to allow 2 days. Put in at Kawishiwi, up through Polly to Malberg, and from there it's an easy day trip to Fishdance, and other nice remote locations. We like to do a hard first day from Kawishiwi to Malberg and set up camp there. Drawback is getting to Malberg late in the afternoon, you're gambling on finding a campsite. If you like a less strenuous trip, you can stop on Polly for the first night, then make your way to Malberg in the morning to have a better chance to snag a campsite and set your base camp. From there, it's a leisurely afternoon trip to Fishdance with two short, easy portages from Malberg.
billconner
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03/03/2017 05:49PM  
Easiest really good ones I know are on Quetico Lake. Enter Beaverhouse and one portage.
RLJ
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03/03/2017 05:50PM  


Camped in Boulder Bay with a day trip over to the pictos. Easy day trip, only about an hour or so from camp for the Irving Island pictos.

Saw the Rocky Lake pictos on a solo loop from LIS EP north thru Little Loon, Finger, etc and back out Oyster, Nina Moose EP. Would probably have to see the site on a day trip from one of your campsites in the area.

The bottom right photo is the one from Rocky Lake.
RLJ
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03/03/2017 07:46PM  
Also a 5 star campsite (#170) right across from the pictos on the Irving Island cliffs, LLC. Maybe you have been there in your travels. There is now a rock table dining area set up. I stopped there for lunch only, didn't camp. It was also kind of a rainy day.
QueticoMike
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03/06/2017 01:08PM  
quote schweady: "I've been to three sites and have returned a second time to the first two:

The North Hegman Lake pictographs are probably the easiest. They are also the most distinctive in contrast with the background rock. Two panels, with the "Orion Man" grouping being the most popular. You could do it in a day trip (2.0 mi one-way) from the South Hegman Lake EP, including one VERY short portage and a paddle to the north end of North Hegman. Handiest photos I have are all from a winter hike from the EP... (Second photo is of the minor grouping, lower and a bit south of the more well-known one.)






Those on Lac La Croix are the most extensive and perhaps the most popular. Many ways to get to these, but the easiest is probably north from Moose River North EP, through Nina Moose, Agnes, and Boulder Bay. We base camped on Agnes and it was a very pleasurable day trip north to the pictographs (5.6 mi, 2 hr one-way). Many panels to explore that are painted on the cliffs of Irving Island on the Canadian side. Many loom right in front of you while seated in your canoe. We had the pleasure of having the place to ourselves for over an hour there one August afternoon.






The paintings on Crooked Lake/Basswood River are perhaps in the most dramatic setting... drawn on looming cliffs on the US side. We went north from Mudro Lake EP, base camped on Horse. From there, it was a long but enjoyable day trip down the Horse River to Lower Basswood Falls and then another mile north to the pictos. Again, quite a number of them are at or just above eye level. Round-trip from our Horse Lake site was a 10 am-6 pm affair, and stands out as my all-time favorite day of all my years in the BW. (Even though we did not take the time for that side trip to Wheelbarrow Falls...)

"


These are all the easiest ones I know for sure. Hegman is real easy to access.
eroom
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03/09/2017 09:20AM  
No one has mentioned the Island River pictographs. It's a day trip and just outside the BWCA. If you enter from down stream, you don't go into the BW. I tried to visit them one day, but my partner and my dog were quite a challenge that day, so we didn't make it there.

Info on the location
03/09/2017 04:47PM  
if you're interested in Quetico, you could go in at beaverhouse and head into QUetico lake, paddle the north shore. i believe there are 5 different locations, i've only seen 4. you might even be able to do this as a day trip? otherwise, plenty of nice campsites on the lake.
Chicagored
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03/09/2017 04:47PM  
I think the Lac La Croix pictos are the best of all the ones I've seen and easily reached in a couple of days entering from 16. I think they are actually on the Canadian side, but you can paddle right up to them as long as you don't get out of your canoe.
TuscaroraBorealis
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03/09/2017 06:06PM  
Not saying they're necessarily the best; and you've probably already seen this one?The historic pictograph route

One lesser known pictograph (on the white strip just above her right shoulder)is on the large boulder at the Finger Lake island site. Getting to Finger LAke is a great trip in itself. Pictographs on LLC & Rocky Lake, which could be worked into the trip.
eroom
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03/15/2017 08:36AM  
I forgot about the pictos on Saganaga in Cache Bay, the Quetico side.

Here is a photo by SunCatcher
http://photos.bwca.com/s/SUNCATCHER-170912-105324.JPG
Grandma L
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03/15/2017 11:09AM  
quote eroom: "I forgot about the pictos on Saganaga in Cache Bay, the Quetico side.
Here is a photo by SunCatcher
http://photos.bwca.com/s/SUNCATCHER-170912-105324.JPG "

thanks - I had forgotten those too.
03/15/2017 11:33AM  
quote eroom: "No one has mentioned the Island River pictographs. It's a day trip and just outside the BWCA. If you enter from down stream, you don't go into the BW. I tried to visit them one day, but my partner and my dog were quite a challenge that day, so we didn't make it there.


Info on the location "

These are difficult to see and not much to see(nice paddle though). I think the Hegman pictos are the easiest to get to.
Grandma L
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03/17/2017 08:43AM  
I finally broke down and got Michael Furtman's book, "Magic on the Rocks" and found there are more than we have listed. Thanks all for your input.
03/17/2017 09:10AM  
The one on Island river about 2 miles upstream from the Tomahawk trail is very visible. Even I could see that one.
03/17/2017 10:14AM  
Not far into Quetico north of Crooked Lake are the Darkwater(ex-Darky) Lake pictographs. These are pretty spectacular. There is a nice little nook to leave your tobacco for the Mishipeshu.

Old Hoosier
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03/22/2017 11:10AM  
Grandma L

If you choose the Quetico Lake picto trip, there are also pictos on Beaverhouse. About a 2 hour paddle from put-in to pictos on southwest end. Some very nice camp sites within 10-15 minutes.

BH is big water, so need to be cautious. But great fishing and lots to see and explore.

Let me know if you want more info.

Old Hoosier.
schweady
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03/22/2017 02:01PM  
quote Grandma L: "I finally broke down and got Michael Furtman's book, "Magic on the Rocks" and found there are more than we have listed. Thanks all for your input."

Another source available online: Northwoods Memories Pictograph Bulletins. Unfortunately, neither these nor the Furtman book are incredibly comprehensive or well-organized, but about as good as can be found.
jberns
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03/22/2017 08:22PM  
Have been to the pictographs at Fishdance, Crooked, Quetico, Darky, & Lac La Croix... All of those were worth seeing. The ones at Jordan and Kawnipi, not so much- very faint & tough to see at all.
03/23/2017 07:56AM  
not the bwca but the pictographs at lake superior provincial park are the best i've seen. the location on lake superior makes them unforgettable.
 
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