Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Disappointment Lake - 2nd Trip to BWCA
by Gillcommander

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/10/2017
Entry & Exit Point: Snowbank Lake (EP 27)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 6
Trip Introduction:
My second trip to the BWCA. Our group spent the entire week on Disappointment Lake fishing, relaxing, eating well, and getting some much needed peace and quiet. Enjoy the report...there are plenty of photos!
Day 1 of 7
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Our previous trip in 2015 (the group I was fortunate to join goes every 2 years) was going to be a "travel" trip starting on Disappointment and ending on Ensign but trip problems at the start and then really good fishing turned the trip into a "basecamp" type trip spending the whole week on Disappointment.

Here is the link to that trip report:

Our group left from Michigan on Friday around 5pm driving thru the Upper Peninsula heading for Ely. We were treated to an incredible lighting storm above Duluth as we were heading into town. Heavy rains were on the backside that we drove thru as we arrived in Ely. We stopped at Brittons for breakfast and it was clear that everyone was excited for the trip this year. We were all hoping for good weather and even better fishing. After breakfast we made a quick stop at TGO(s) and picked up a few pounds of leeches. He was definitely entertaining and I took a few chances to get him fired up about smallmouth bass.

After picking up bait we headed up to Williams and Hall on Moose Lake to check in, get our permits squared away, and rent a few items. The check in went fast and we were soon headed to Snowbank Lake to start our trip. The entry point was busy as there were multiple Scout groups packing up for their own entry. We hurried to get everything situated and packed before launching. There was a slight wind out of the west (at our backs) which made the 45 minute paddle across Snowbank rather easy. The Scout groups weren't real organized as there was several canoes and apparantly no one leading the way. I believe there plans were to enter thru Parent and then travel to Disappointment but it was obvious they had no idea where the portage to Parent was. We told them halfway across Snowbank they might as well follow us to the Disappointment portage and only have to portage one time.

We made the portage and decided since our group had 3 canoes we would quick trip one canoe and gear across the portage so they could go ahead and get a site. Unfortunately that wasn't my canoe and gear so I ended up triple portaging that morning as we packed a little heavy knowing we were basecamping for the week. After finally getting all our gear across the portage we paddled across Disappointment towards our campsite for the week. Luckily we got the 5 star site on the southern side about a 1/3 of the way down the lake. It was the same site we had two years before. There is a nice kitchen area and multiple spots for tents. It is on a nice point with a handful of tall pines supplying just the right amount of shade during the day.

The only bad thing about our entry day was the wind kicked up something fierce just as we arrived at our site. In fact it was so windy that we couldn't even get out to fish the first day. I spent a few hours napping after the long night of driving. Around 6pm we had ribeyes that I purchased for everyone which hit the spot along with some instant mashed potatoes.

After dinner we sat around enjoying a campfire before heading off to bed. My treat to myself for this trip was a Eureka air mattress. I must say it did great the entire week and I slept well every night which is a luxury in the BWCA. There were no rocks or tree roots to bother me. After getting it initially set up it held air all week long until our departure day.