1st Visit to BWCA

Hi gang. Newbie here entering first post. Taking a mega road trip this summer which will include an approx week split between Ely and S Marais. We’e never been there so forgive me if some of my ?? seem stupid. We’re traveling with our sea kayaks and would love to do some paddling in the BWCA area. We are not camping and only doing day paddles. Already contacted an outfitter in Ely and they sent me this paddle planner plus some suggesed paddles. I still looking for more input so please chime in. Boundaries: Day paddles only. Must have a place to park my vehicle near the launch. Total distance less than 15 miles. Short Portages ok less than .25 miles ea assuming they’re not to challenging… Can NOT run rapids in these boats. Hoping for great scenery, must see features with little to no motorized boat traffic, and calm winds. As day paddlers, I’m assuming I needn’t worry about quotas or permits.

permits and ideas
I believe you need a day use permit to enter the bwca, but from what I understand there is no limit, so you just have to be sure to get one.

EP 77 South Hegman lake has not portages over .27 of a mile between the put in and the pictographs. I have never been there myself, but I have heard many good things.

EP 35 is on Isabella Lake but I believe the area had a big fire on 2012

Look at bwca.com for a ton of info

End of the gunflint trail mn
can launch into Gull Lake connects to Saganaga.

or launch into SeaGull Lake… Both big water, lot’s of islands… Day permits are filled out from the box at the launch.

Grand Marais

– Last Updated: Jun-16-16 1:08 PM EST –

IF you are in the Grand Marais area, head up the Gunflint Trail and put in at Poplar Lake. Its just 3 short portages over to Horseshoe Lake. I have seen moose on a regular basis on this lake. Its about a 2-3 hour paddle to Horseshoe.
Also Saganaga or Seagull lakes would be fun to play on during a day trip. No portaging.
Brule Lake off the Sawbill Trail is a big lake. No portaging necessary to explore the lake.
I just got back from Polly. You enter on the Kawishiwi Lake entry point. Its a hike to Polly but the lake and river to the first portage is really beautiful. You only have to pull over 3 beaver dams.

IF you are in Ely, head to Fall Lake and portage up to Pipestone Bay. Portage wheels are allowed on the 2 flat portages. Big water and lots of areas to explore
Lots of Day trips out of Ely. I suggest stopping at the ranger station and ask them. Day permits are free.

perfect timing to read your response. I have a week off coming up and was wondering places I could get to without lots of planning. Living in WI a trip to Gunflint should be easy.

Have to register the kayak quick and than find some places to explore.