We’ve been there, done that. . . and we can’t wait to get back! Wilderness Journey has created 6 suggested routes for the new clients. Each journey includes a variety of activity including fishing, wildlife, waterfalls, pictographs and more. Choose the route that seems best for you.
The Pictograph Route
This trip starts at entry point 23 which is approximately a ½ hr drive north of Ely, MN. This is a base camp trip starting at little Picket Creek. This is a relatively short travel day (5 hours). We travel through Mudro, Sandpit, Tin Can Mike and then camp overnight on Horse Lake. Horse Lake is a fairly large lake with Walleyes and big Northerns. The next morning, we’ll wake early and travel 5 hours to one of my favorite areas in all of the BWCA: the Horse River. Deer, Moose and Otters can be seen along this river. It’s a very scenic area. Where it empties into the Basswood River at Lower Basswood Falls is where we will base camp. From here we can reach two large waterfalls and fish in the Basswood River and sprawling Crooked Lake for Northerns, Walleyes and Smallmouth bass. During our stay we will take a day trip to the most spectacular pictographs in the BWCA. There are over 10 different pictographs spread out on a cliff 100 yards long. We will move onto Table Rock where many Native American Indians and Voyageurs have camped. This particular route was their main thoroughfare. We will return home down the same route we came. The minimum stay for this route is 4 days but we suggest at least 6 days.
The Falls Route
If fishing is your passion then this is your destination! This trip is one of our favorites. It starts at entry point 16 approximately 1 hr north of Ely, MN. This is a base camp trip which starts on the Moose River. We will travel Nina Moose Lake, Nina Moose River, Lake Agnes, and Boulder River. Along this whole route, you can see moose, otters, eagles and some of the largest whitetail bucks we have ever seen. We will find a camp site on the famous 34,000 acre Lac La Croix. This lake holds all the species of fish that the BWCA has to offer and many monsters call this lake home. This is a 6 hour travel day. The next morning we will head over to Canada and see the pictographs which are said to be one of the most spiritual in the BWCA. They contain images of musical instruments such as drums and flutes, many animals pictographs and the much talked about Heartman. After this little side trip, we will cross the bottle portage to what we consider a world class fishing lake. Iron Lake is without a doubt worthy of this distinction. It holds the best fishing action in quantity and quality. Along with the fishing there are many day trips we can take from this location. First and foremost would be to the two large waterfalls: Curtain and Rebecca Falls. Iron Lake also has many islands and bays. When you are too tired to catch any more fish, we will return down the same route we came. The minimum stay for this route is 5 days but we suggest at least 6 days. I have had clients extend their stay because the fishing was spectacular.
The Fishdance Route
This trip starts at entry point 30 about 45 minutes east of Ely, MN. This is one of the most popular areas in the BWCA so it is very important we get an early start to beat the other groups. It is also a challenging route not on account of portaging but rather distance. It is a base camping trip which starts at Lake One going through Lake Two, Lake Three, and Lake Four. To find a secluded and serene campsite we will enter Hudson Lake where we will set up camp. Hudson has some very scenic areas and very good Walleye and Smallmouth action. This is another one of my favorite campsites. The next morning we will make the 3 hour trip to our base camp on Lake Insula. This is a large lake with over twenty islands and numerous bays and inlets. Lake Insula holds fantastic walleye and Northern fishing. We can spend all week here and not fish the same area twice. During our stay we will take day trips through Alice Lake and Kawishiwi River over to the Pictographs on Fishdance Lake. There is a small display of very unique images. There is a pictograph of a family, fish and other assorted animals. This lake can have some pretty good Walleye action. If we are lucky we may hear the howling of the local wolf pack that frequents this area. At the end of our trip we will make our way back to entry point 30. The minimum stay for this route is 5 days but we suggest at least 6 days.
The Crooked Lake Loop/Base Camp
This trip starts at entry point 23 which is approximately a half hour north of Ely, MN. This is a challenging loop trip abundant with wildlife and scenery throughout. It starts on little Picket Creek and continues through Mudro, Fourtown, Boot, and Fairy before we camp on Gun Lake. This is a 6 hour travel day. This lake can have fantastic Walleye and Smallie action. Depending on the length of trip and time of year, I suggest we stay and fish on this lake a couple of days. Then we’ll head through a series of smaller lakes: Wagosh, Niki, Chippewa, and Papoose before we hit the great expanse of Crooked Lake. We’ll find one of the many beautiful campsites on this lake. This is another 6 hour travel day. This lake is a great lake for Northerns, Walleyes and Smallies. Your chance is pretty good of getting a trophy. The next morning is a easy travel day with no portages as we travel an old fur trader route. We will pass Table Rock where many Native American Indians and Voyageurs have camped. Then we will pass through an area with the most spectacular pictographs in the BWCA. There are over 10 different pictographs spread out on a cliff 100 yards long. This day we will camp at the base of Lower Basswood Falls. We suggest staying here a couple of days to catch the many fish that lurk these waters and check out Lower Basswood Falls and Wheel Barrow Falls. When we leave this area, we will head up to one of my favorite areas in all of the BWCA: the Horse River. Deer, Moose and Otters can be seen along this very scenic area. Then we go through Horse, Tin Can Mike, Sandpit, and Mudro Lake, up Picket Creek and back to the entry point we started from. The minimum stay for this route is 4 days but we suggest at least 6 days.
Little Indian Sioux
This route has limitless possibilities. It will start when we pick you up between 4:00 and 5:30 am, then it will be a 1 hour drive to entry point 14, the Little Indian Sioux River. You will have a great chance at seeing a moose as soon as you dip your paddle into the water.
We will paddle down the river until it pours into upper Pauness Lake. From there you can do anything from a simple 3 day trip to a 6 day trip or longer, depending on your group’s goals, interests and experience. Depending on your route you will see a couple waterfalls, the devils cascade and Bridle Veil Falls, and the Lac La Croix Native American pictographs. Along the way we will see many different species of wildlife and great fishing.
This route is for our more seasoned clients. They range from 7 to 10 days where you will travel along the exact same routes that the fur traders and natives traveled for centuries. This trip will have great fishing, lots of historic points of interests, wildlife and scenery all of which are some of the best the Boundary Waters has to offer.
These are just suggested routes we do cater to many other entry points including these listed below and many others.
Little Indian Sioux River (north) EP – 14
Moose/Portage River (north) EP – 16
Stuart River EP – 19
Angleworm Lake EP- 20
Mudro Lake (restricted–no camping on Horse Lake) – EP- 22
Mudro Lake EP – 23
Wood Lake EP – 26
Snowbank Lake Only EP – 28
Ojibwa Lake/North Kawishiwi River EP – 29
Lake One EP – 30
South Kawishiwi River EP –