Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

A less than disappointing trip
by portagerunner

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/05/2022
Entry & Exit Point: Snowbank Lake (EP 27)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
It was time for our annual trip into the BWCA for 2022. Each January four old friends from high school get together to plan out an adventure into the wilderness. Every so often we deviate and travel to Isle Royale or other wilderness destinations, but most commonly we find ourselves heading back into the BWCAW.
Day 1 of 5
Sunday, June 05, 2022 At this point in our lives, we have spread out to different areas and meet up in St. Cloud to consolidate gear and head north. After our typical late arrival into Ely, we found our way to Boundary Waters Outfitters for a night in the bunkhouse before getting our permit and a few rental gear items in the morning. Following this trip, we finally decided to upgrade and invest in our own canoes. Once we had the canoes loaded and permit picked up, we made our way to Entry point 27 on Snowbank Lake.

While not our first rodeo, when the winds are high on snowbank lake it can be intimidating. We were on the water by 8:30am and were greeted with a light breeze and plenty of sunshine. The portages from Parent Lake to Disappointment were flooded due to the very late ice out this past spring and closed meaning we would take the longer portage bypassing Parent Lake. Once we reached the portage to unload, we found it packed with several groups increasing our anxiety as to whether or not we would find a good campsite further in. Fortunately, between our ability to single portage and conversations telling us none of these groups were staying on Disappointment Lake, we could breathe easier and not feel like we had to race towards the nearest campsite. Typically, we would make a loop staying on different lakes each day, this year, however, we opted to find a base camp increasing our ability to explore the area and fish more seriously.

To our surprise, there was not a single occupied campsite on the entire lake. After checking out a handful of 4/5 star campsites we had researched we decided to stay at campsite 1379. The campsite location on the more secluded southeast side of the lake was great as a large island blocked the view of passing canoe traffic throughout the week giving us that sense of solitude so many crave when coming to the boundary waters. I easily assigned this site five stars as it had ample space for tent pads, tarps, and hammocks. It had large rocks for sunning, fishing, and drying things out. The landing was shallow and consisted of fine gravel which was good on the canoes and nice for swimming in. The kitchen area had ample log seating as well as a natural stone ledge behind it. That evening we enjoyed a chili stew and the first of many fantastic sunsets.

~Snowbank Lake, Disappointment Lake