Packsack Canoe Trips & Log Cabins

Ely and Western BWCA

Packsack Canoe Trips & Log Cabins

P.O. Box 780
Ely, MN   55731
  View Location on Map

Contact Information:

Proprietors: Nick & Danielle Ott
Direct Phone: 1-800-365-3788


Let’s start with a proper introduction. We’re the Ott family - Gene, Jane, Nick (son) and Danielle, (daughter in law) and we acquired the property in 2000. Originally from Northeast Iowa, we had been scout leaders and BWCA enthusiasts for several years when the opportunity arose to make a lifestyle change that simply delighted us. Since that time, we have built an outfitting service that, we believe, is one of the best in the area. In addition to outfitting services, we have authentic log cabins, right on Fall Lake for non-campers to experience great fishing and conveniently explore the Ely area.

Our cabins and lodge (with bunkhouse) have an amazing history. The cabins and lodge were originally built and located up on Pipestone Bay on Basswood Lake. When Congress declared "The Wilderness Act of 1964", all buildings needed to be either moved or burnt to the ground, restoring the natural wilderness. Shortly after, each log was labelled, deconstructed, floated up through Newton Lake to Fall Lake and put back together, like a complex jigsaw puzzle. Can you imagine the planning and the work to accomplish this?

We’re honored by every guest that chooses Packsack and promise to make every effort to build a wilderness experience that best matches your wishes.

Main Offerings:

  • Full Outfitting - Complete & Partial Outfitting
  • Gear Rental - Tents, camps stoves, packs, sleeping bags, tarps, etc.
  • Trip/Route Planning Assistance - Aid in helping plan your route or trip
  • Entry Point Shuttles - Tow Service into Pipestone, and Jackfish Bays
  • BWCA Permits - Reserve Permits for your group
  • Canoe Rental - Aluminum & Kevlar
  • Meal Planning - Plan and Provide fresh and freeze dried meals for groups.
  • Bunkhouse - Lakeside Bunkhouse, Comes with sleeping bag & Shower
  • Cabins - On Fall Lake
  • Quetico Outfitting

Additional Offerings 1:

  • Kevlar Canoe Rental - Rental of lightweight Canoes
  • Maps - Purchase Maps for Planning and Navigation
  • Solo Canoe Rental - Aluminum & Kevlar
  • Minnesota Fishing Licenses - Fishing Licenses Available On-Site
  • Hot Showers - Free with Canoe rental

Additional Offerings 2:

  • Northstar Canoes - Rental of Northstar Canoes
  • Wenonah Canoes - Rental of Wenonah Canoes
  • Kayak Rental - Rental of Kayaks
  • Food Sales - Providing Sales of dry goods for your trip
  • Fish Finder Rental - Rental of Fish Finders
  • Satellite Phones - Rental of Satellite Phones for emergency contact

Boundary Waters Entry Points Supported

  • Crab Lake and Cummings from Burntside Lake - Tow service available
  • Slim Lake - 6
  • Big Lake - 7
  • Moose River (south) - 8
  • Little Indian Sioux River (south) - 9
  • Little Indian Sioux River (north) - 14
  • Moose/Portage River (north) - 16
  • Stuart River - 19
  • Angleworm Lake - 20
  • Mudro Lake (restricted--no camping on Horse Lake) - 22
  • Mudro Lake - 23
  • Wood Lake - 26
  • Snowbank Lake Only - Tow service available
  • Ojibway Lake/North Kawishiwi River - 29
  • Lake One - 30
  • South Kawishiwi River - 32
  • Little Gabbro Lake - 33
  • Island River - 34
  • Isabella Lake - 35
  • Hog Creek - 36
  • Kawishiwi Lake - 37
  • South Hegman Lake - 77
  • Trout Lake - Tow service available
  • Fall Lake - Tow Service Available, Free canoe delivery to entry point #24
  • Moose Lake - Tow Service Available
  • Snowbank Lake - Tow service Available
  • Farm Lake - 31
  • Trout Lake - Tow Service Available
  • Fall Lake Only - Tow Service Available
  • Fall Lake and Beyond - Tow Service Available
  • Moose Lake to Prairie Portage - Tow Service Available


Packsack Canoe Trips & Log Cabins is hiring an Outfitting and Resort Assistant for the 2019 season. An amazing opportunity awaits you! Packsack employees have the pleasure of enjoying their work on the edge of The Boundary Waters Canoe Area. This serves as a great opportunity to learn many valuable life lessons and share your passions for the outdoors and hard work.
Job Description: As an Outfitting/Resort Assistant you will be responsible for:
• Maintaining a constant level of uncompromising customer service to all Packsack clients.
• Driving campers to and from their entry points.
• Helping with portaging boats and motors over the wheel portages.
• Operating boats and motors for deliveries.
• Food Packaging.
• Cleaning (cabins, bunkhouse, boats and motors, canoes).
• Landscaping (mowing, weed whipping, beach cleaning).
Job Requirements: As an Outfitting/Resort Assistant you will be required to:
• Have a positive attitude and be helpful to all customers.
• Be detail orientated without constant direction.
• Must be at least 18 years of age.
• Have a valid Driver’s License (with clean record).
• Must be able to lift a minimum of 75 lbs on a consistent basis.
Additional Considerations:
• Applicants should have but are not required to have general knowledge of the Boundary Waters and the Ely area.
• Job will be available from Late May until mid-August.
• Applications should have but are not required to have general knowledge of how to use an outboard motor and small engines.
• Packsack may offer free lodging for qualified applicants.