Boundary Waters Portages

Portages are the part of the canoe trip that is on foot.  Considering that you need to carry your canoe and supplies over the portage, we sometimes get asked the question, “Is it possible to plan a trip without portaging?”  The answer is yes.  This would be a base camp type trip where all nights would be spent at the same campsite, returning to the original entry point for pick-up. There are several entry points that lead directly to campsites on the initial lake and do not require additional portaging. We use the following:

United States – Boundary Waters Canoe Area

  • #22 – Mudro Lake – No Motors Allowed – One campsite
  • #24 – Fall Lake – Motorboat Use Allowed – 6 campsites.
  • #25 – Moose Lake – Motorboat Use Allowed – 5 campsites. Leads to two additional motor use lakes with a total of 23 campsites.
  • #27 – Snowbank Lake – Motorboat Use Allowed – 6 campsites.
  • #30 – Lake One – No Motors Allowed – 12 campsites.
  • #31 – Farm Lake (Kawishiwi River) – No Motors Allowed – One campsite.
  • #31 – Farm Lake (South Farm Lake) – Motorboat Use Allowed – Two campsites.
  • #32 – South Kawishiwi River – No Motors Allowed – 4 campsites.
  • #33 – Little Gabbro Lake – No Motors Allowed – 2 campsites. (Requires 1/2 mile portage to/from the unloading spot to the lake).
  • #35 – Isabella Lake – No Motors Allowed – 10 campsites.

Canada – Quetico Park

  • Prairie Portage: Carp Lake – 7 campsites.
  • Lac La Croix Fly-in/out: McAree Lake – 2 campsites.

CAUTION: It is possible on lakes that have only one or two campsites, that all of the sites may be occupied. It would then be required that you portage on into an interior lake where an available site could be found.

Unless there is a physical constraint that precludes doing any portaging (medical restriction from lifting, Mom & Dad traveling camping with young children, or just not physically able to lift packs and canoes), most parties want to get more out of their trips than just the lake where they enter the BWCA or Quetico Park.

It is very easy to accommodate parties who want to do some traveling, but want to limit the number or length of the portages they must do. It becomes a little harder for us to design a route for a party who only wants a few short portages, and also wants to be away from people, or who want to fish for a specific specie (smallmouth bass is the hardest to accommodate). In these instances, we would recommend phoning us to discuss the specific trip requirements in person.

Next: Fishing and Camping Safety

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