Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Gunflint (Magnetic Lake) Cross River Loop
by mmagwest

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/17/2018
Entry Point: Magnetic Lake (EP 57)
Exit Point: Cross Bay Lake (EP 50)  
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
We planned a 9 day trip. We put in at Gunflint Lake and paddled North down the Granite River. We headed West across lake Saganaga and then southwest to the South Arm of Knife Lake. We lake-hopped to Gabimichigami Lake and Little Saganaga Lake and eventually the Frost River. The Frost River was rough with numerous beaver dams and rocky portages. After Frost Lake we turned North and made our way to Ham Lake and eventually our exit point on the Cross River. It was a remote route. We didn't see anyone for a day and half on the Frost River. No rain - no moose sightings. We heard wolves one night and moose walking another. We canoed about 65 miles and crossed over 50 portages for a total of about 2000 rods (6 miles). We used a Kevlar Minnesota 3 canoe that weights 55 lbs. I carried the canoe, Gi and Miles carried the two canoe packs (Kondos Packs). We did all the portages in one trip. The weather was fantastic. I'm already planning next years trip.
Day 1 of 7
Tuesday, July 17, 2018    We dropped Miles (my son) and the canoe and packs off at the landing on Gunflint. Gi (my daughter) & I drove to the Cross River access and left the van and pop-up. We jogged the 3.5 miles back to Gunflint.    Paddled north to Magnetic Lake. We anticipated a portage, so when we encountered the first little radips my crew panicked and started paddling backwards on me. I told them to run it, the water was deep enough. But they insisted on portaging. It was a rocky portage. We hit the real portage 1/4 mile down stream. Our water level was 8" below the lichen line. If you take it slowly the two drops are passable.   We did all our portages in one trip. I carried the canoe. Gi had a Kondos canoe pack full of food and the cooking stuff. Miles carried the rest in a hugh Kondos pack..   We camped on the Northern site on Clove Lake. It was a good site, had wading, lots of tent pads and a tree to hang food. All our sites had food hanging trees.