1st Trip to BWCA: Lake 1 to Lake 2 to...

Lake 3. Base camp at Lake 3. Day trips from to Bridge lake and North Wilder. This is the basic plan. We expect to go during the first week of July or the first two weeks of August. How bad will the portages be for a trip like this? Thanks.

Piece of cake.
The most difficult part of those portages are the crowds. On the two short portages between Lakes One and Two don’t dawdle and keep track of YOUR packs. It might be a good idea to flag them with a ribbon (just like in the airport).

The number Lakes are nice lakes and great for first-timers. Those two portages are bottle-necks so they are the only unpleasant parts. Just get through them quickly.

Take a day trip
Take a day trip to the pictographs on the Kawishiwi River. It’s well worth the day.

Lake chain - day trips
If you have time, take a long day trip from Lake 3 to Horsewhoe, Wilder, to Hudson & back. Nice area.

Heck, even in early May there were minor traffic jams at those portages!

Heed the previous advice, and enjoy.


Hudson Lake
Hudson is a nice lake to camp on particularly the northern arm… Great fishing (if you are into fishing) where the Kawishiwi River runs into Hudson from Insula, and the rapids along the portage ponds between Hudson and Lake Four…


As others have mentioned, the biggest issue will be crowds . I made the mistake of ending a very long day of paddling on Lake Two from the Rock Island portage in early August one year . I paddled by every site on the Lake and they were occupied…had to end up going into Lake Three to find a site.

Start early,
as everyone says this is a popular route, also take binoculars they assist in finding empty sites. The portages are a cake walk and that is why it is so popular. Be prepared to hang your food from a tree, being popular and people being who they are the bears will be checking your campsite out at night. fear not though the MN black bear is not a ferocious animal as per Lynn Rogers, bearalogist of the area.

Have fun

also planning a trip
Im also planning a 30+ day trip for Sept of 08 and would like your input.

Having a bit of a challenge with all the permits, lotteries, regs, fees etc for BWCA and Quetico. Im sort of overwhelmed by it all.

My paddling partner is from Belgium so we cannot use the RABC permits and MUST go directly to a customs office.

ANyone have to deal with them? WHich office would get me through the paper work the quickest?

Has any of you done routes that border BWCA and Quetico? WOnder if you could talk about them to give me an idea.

Any recommendations of the BWCA lottery? WHats the best ways to get a permit. WHat are the least busy entrys?

Thanks for your help.


Here is a place
that may answer some of your questions. You can make reservations here and also get set up with an outfitter. There also is a book by Robert Bymeyer that will also answer you questions and give you tips on trips.