Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Big Fork River - Little American Falls to Rainy River
by Valkor

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/24/2024
Entry Point: Other
Exit Point: Other  
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
I left off at Little American Falls 3 weeks ago so I came back on memorial day weekend to finish off the rest of the river. I was fortunate to have done it while the river was really high which means a faster current. First part of the river:
Day 1 of 4
I started early at 5:30 to beat the rain coming around lunch. With the fast current and a tailwind, I was making good time averaging 5.5 mph. Since the current was stronger and you can see it, I was following it more often.I saw a lot of beavers and birds but not a whole lot of ducks or geese. When I got to Powell Rapids, I saw waves that were a foot tall and I had to scout it. Like Muldoon Rapids, the biggest waves are first, then some milder rapids followed by more rougher rapids. I probably could have gone through it and been fine but it was a colder day and I couldn't afford to fall in. I don't like that it goes around the corner too. If the water levels were normal, it would be fine. With all that in mind, I portaged it but looking at it again in the pictures, it really didn't look that bad but looking from the water it looks different than what it appears to be in the pictures.

I got to the landing pretty quick at the cost of going into a headwind biking back. The wind wasn't really an issue on the river like it is on a bike even going through the bends in different directions. I then sat around for four or five hours in my vehicle and waited out the heavier rain. I took a nap, read a book. I got a sleeping platform in the back so I laid on that. At 3 pm. I got out again to do the rest of the 16 miles. The river was slightly slower but I still averaged 5 mph. Not a whole lot happened. I scared a mallard down the river for 30 minutes. The Easy Half Campsite is a little further down that what the maps shows. It's at the confluence of some creek.

I stayed at Johnson's Landing for the night. By this time, the mosquitoes are out so they're everywhere. They can get kind of bad.