easy BWCA trip - any recommendations

So I’m looking to do a BWCA trip this year, but due to a few recent health problems I don’t want to do anything remote or with heavy portaging.

Anyone have any recommendations on which area of the BWCA might be easy canoe access with a nice commercial campground?

Sawbill Entry point 38

– Last Updated: May-10-10 7:24 PM EST –


Easiest trip I've ever did was in around this point and it was very nice...

CON is that it might book up quickly... check it out

There is a Fed campground there.. you could make day trips... but the remote sites probably would be doable to if you are healthy enough to paddle.

Moose Lake
you can go into Basswood lake and not portage at all, or do a few up towards knife lake

do you go by yourself?
I have gone with antoher couple who have trouble portaging, so I just carry both boats (not at the same time!!) and they shuttle the gear. Everyone does their fair share, and we can still get to some more remote sites.

Me Too

– Last Updated: May-11-10 9:44 PM EST –

I'll second this one. Sawbill is good for quick in/out. You can opt to stay on Sawbill lake or take the easy portage to Alton. This is without a doubt the easiest portage in the BWCA, virtually a walk in the park. As noted, the other option is to stay at the Sawbill campground and take day trips. This has been my routine for the last 3 years. I'm planning on being there mid-July.


Yep… Sawbill
I second Sawbill - there are lots of camping spots, easy take in and take out on the lake, it’s a big lake with lots of character, and the portage out of the north end of the lake is just a little bit longer than a canoe.

Plus, Sawbill Outfitters is FIRST CLASS. I will be using them for all my outfitting needs from now on.

Ely Side Option
I don’t disagree with the Sawbill recommendations, however, as an option on the Ely side of the BWCA, you could consider staying at the modern Forest Service Campground at Fall Lake and daytripping from there. In addition to the Fall Lake access there would be Lake One, Moose Lake chain (motors allowed), Kawishiwi River system, and Hegman Lakes (nice pictographs) all nearby the campground for your exploration. And having Ely nearby is a definite plus on a rainy day or when you need a change from campsite cuisine.