Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Mountain Lake to Nameiben Lake via scenic Vale Creek; Armstrong, Ontario. WABAKIMI
by OregonDave

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/06/2019
Entry & Exit Point: Wabakimi
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
See my full report in the Wabakimi section. Here's my YouTube video report from my Oregon Dave channel.
Mountain Lake to Nameiben Lake via scenic Vale Creek August 5 to 12, 2019 Oregon Dave with daughter Brianna

See my full report in the Wabakimi section; or go to our latest newsletter on our Friends of Wabakimi web page at

YouTube video report:

Prologue: Having been on four previous Wabakimi Project trips, I’ve touched this route so to speak twice before and then heard and read reports, so my curiosity was aroused. This route is a FOW Guidebook candidate as a shorter and accessible Crown Land canoe route near Armstrong, Ontario and Mattice Lake.

For a detailed route description, email me at

Although we indulged in a Beaver flight to Mountain Lake, this route could be accessed by Trail Lake Road (starting at either Rocky Island or Tunnel Lakes) from the North with two possible road takeouts near Hwy 527 to the South.

After staying one night at the Mattice Outfitters McKenzie Lake cabin, Brianna and I boarded their Beaver for the short flight into Mountain Lake. The pilot Dave, flew us down to our end point on Nameiben Lake, and followed our route back up to Mountain Lake We could see how scenic this route was, even though we could see the results of past logging near this route. (more logging is occurring in this general area). The Beaver dropped us off and we easily located the one campsite on the SE side of this lovely lake. FOW Canoe Route Maps, Volume 5; Map 3, “Tunnel Lake to Waweig Lake via Vale Creek” provides detail for this route. Map 4 also shows the Rocky Island Lake section. Map 5 shows the Rushbay Lake to Mountain Portage route. Order these from the Friends of Wabakimi website at

Acknowledgements: Inspired and directed by the late “Uncle” Phil Cotton, Wabakimi Project crews cleared these portages and surrounding Crown Land canoe routes in 2016. Participants included Barry Simon, Ray Tallent, John Sinclair, Cary Kellar,Amy Funk, Larry Power, Craig Charles, Debbie Doyle, Ken Babinchak, Bill and Kris Pyle. Also, John Holmes, Randy Trudeau and yours truly worked on the Rushbay Lake to Vale Creek portages.