5 or 6 Day BWCA Trip Suggestions

What is the best 5 or 6 day BWCA trip for solitude and wildlife? I’m trying to plan a weeklong trip (allowing a layover day, just in case) that will allow solitude (don’t want to race for a campsite) and allow alot of photographic opportunities for wildlife.

BTW, I’m not afraid of difficult paddling or portages to get what I’m looking for.

frost river
Head out of Sawbill to Cherokee, Gordon, Frost, Octopus, Frost River, … Hub, Zenith, long portage to Kelso, Sawbill. Remote, lots of animals. Or, come in from The Gunflint and connect to Cherokee, the Frost River and swing back around to Tuscarora Lake, long portage to Missing Link, and out at Round. Another good one is to go in at Sawbill, do the Lady lakes, and work up to the Louse River, take that to Zenith, Kelso, Sawbill. NOTE - the Frost and Louse could be difficult if there has not been much rain.

Four Falls route
A long portage usually thins the crowds out. Fall Lake- Basswood past upper (mile long portage) and lower Basswood Falls (the falls can attract people but we saw few in later June), past pictographs below lower Basswood Falls, on to Friday Bay of Crooked Lake, head south to Wagosh (another mile long portage) to Gun, Fairy, Boot, Fourtown(expect people here) and out Mudro. Has it all- large and small lakes and streams, waterfalls, and pictographs.

Another remote route- Nina Moose North up through Oyster, to Pocket, head west to Eugene, North/south Lake in the very NW corner of BWCA, south through Slim, Loon, out Little Indian Sioux. We saw 5 parties total from Oyster until we hit Loon and no one for 30 hours and 7 lakes- again this was later June.

What time of year?
What time of year? If you come at the end of Sept or start of Oct it much quieter. Although the last few year, I’ve seen more people up during these times.

that’s one variable I don’t have a lot of control over. I’m looking at late June/early July 2008.

Little Indain Soiux
EP#14. Put in here, travel up to shell lake. This will be busy, get there early. However, the next day you can travle to Hustler. Longer portages make solitude easy. Great fishing and very private. Good scenery all around. You can base camp here 2 to 3 days, then go back to shell, and ultimately back to the Little Indain Sioux river to home. Easy route with lots to explore, fewer folks, good fishing. Plenty of deer and you may even see a moose. I think it is worth considering.


Bring a headnet!

Try something in the Skipper Lake area. I’ve done Skipper to Homer in four days. You’ll pay for the solitude on your first portage, but it’s worth it. Maybe head in at Skipper a come out a Round. Your last night will be in a busy area, but not the others.

The Frost River is nice (mentioned above), but the main problem is that if you end up doing the river at the same time as another group you could end up in a race to get to the campsite or a long day…

The end of the Gunflint area may be quiet because of the fires. Getting back onto Knife and that area should feel remote.

That time of year mid-week isn’t too bad.

5 or 6 Day BWCA Trip Suggestions
Hard to give direction without knowing what you are looking for out of the trip.

Differnt area’s are better for different reasons.

I cant argue the Wildlife up along the Moose loop but walleyes are not what they once were.

For Scenic photography its tough to beat some of the Southern BWCA area’s particularly along the Laurentian Divide

If you can fight your way Past the crowds of lake 1-4 and leve the hardier souls behind on the lower reaches of Insula you’ll find some Excellent Walleyes here and in the next few beyond (perent can produce NICE fish)

What are your Priorities? Any of the local MN guys who spend alot of time in the BWCAW could better serve you if they knew what you really wanted out of the trip!!

First Priority is solitude. When I go to the wilderness the thing I seek first and foremost is solitude. Well, that is solitude with my wife because she’ll be the only other person traveling with me.

Second Priority is wildlife. Again, call me crazy, but I feel like I’m in the wilderness when I see wildlife. Not to mention, my wife loves to take photos of the wildlife.

Not really into fishing, so that isn’t a high priority. I think the scenery will be pretty good no matter where I go as long as it fits the first two priorities.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.