Frost River Route
|Moderate to rugged. Mostly medium to small lakes.
|3 to 5 days – Approximately 25 miles
|Ham, Rib, Karl, Long Island, Frost, Frost River, Mora, Crooked, Owl, Tuscarora Missing Link, Round
|#50 & #51 (40 minutes by shuttle van)
|Scenic and quiet, river travel, secluded.
Frost Lake is in the heart of the BWCA and few people venture this far in. Frost River itself can be a challenge because of the number of turns and you definitely want to keep your map out at all times on the river. Due to the remoteness of the area and the lack of paddlers who venture in this far the distance between campsites is great. You will want to pace yourself and allow enough paddling time to ensure you make it to a campsite before dark. The campsite on Bologna Lake is amazing. You will feel like you are the only soul in the BWCA when camping there. Frost Lake has several sandy beaches and even a couple campsites on sand. Fishing is fair, mostly Northern Pike, Lake Trout, and some small Bass. You’ll want to consider the amount of water in the river if you are considering this route. It’s best to paddle this route in the spring or early summer in a clockwise direction. If you’re interested in this route for mid to late summer please check with us about water levels. Although the portages may look short on paper, they are more difficult than most, with extreme climbs and drops. If you would like to hear more on this route you can listen to a podcast about it here: Tumblehome-A Boundary Waters Podcast: The Frost River
Little Saganaga Route
|Moderate to rugged. Some difficult portages.
|4 to 5 days – Approximately 25 miles
|Round, Brant, Flying, Bat, Gillis, French, Gabimichigami, Little Saganaga, Mora, Crooked, Owl, Tuscarora, Missing Link
|#50 (Brant) or #51 (Missing Link)
|Plenty of excellent campsite options, Mueller Falls, Kekekabic Hiking Trail access, secluded back bay campsites.
Although this route begins with rapid fire portaging, and ends with a 428r doozy, the work is worth it. Gillis, Gabimichigami, Little Saganaga and Tuscarora Lakes all offer plenty of 5 star campsites. There are a multitude of options to extend or shorten this route, making it a great option for groups on the fence about how long they want to spend in the park. Mueller Falls and access the Kekekabic hiking trail make for great day trip options. Fishing through the area will predominantly consist of Lake Trout and Northern Pike.
Knife Lake Route
|Moderate to rugged. large variety of lake sizes.
|3 to 7 days – Approximately 40-50 miles
|Saganaga, Swamp, Ottertrack, Ester, Hanson, South Arm Knife, Eddy, Jenny, Annie Ogishkemuncie, Kingfisher, Jasper, Seagull
|#54 & #55 (about 1 hour by shuttle van)
|Waterfalls, historic sites, fishing, solitude
This route starts at the end of the Gunflint Trail and is perfect for those wanting to do it all. It has waterfalls, large and small lakes, solitude, historic sites, cliffs, and excellent fishing. You must be willing to paddle; Knife Lake, the farthest point on this route, is about halfway between Ely and the Gunflint Trail. This is one of those areas that is so remote most visitors won’t see it. If you have extra time to spend on Knife Lake you can paddle to Dorothy Moulter’s island or hike to Thunder Point. Saganaga is a very large lake and needs to be respected on windy days. Ottertrack Lake is spectacular and you will see an historic monument portage. You can swim in Eddy Falls and a side trip to Mueller Lake will reward you with a second waterfall. Fishing is excellent with Walleye, Northern Pike, Lake Trout and Smallmouth Bass. Base campers usually like to get to Ogishkemuncie. If you have extra time, there are hundreds of expansion options and some extremely good campsites. If you are interested in crossing Saganaga Lake via motor boat we can arrange for a tow to American Point.
If you would like to hear more on this route you can listen to a podcast about it here: Tumblehome-A Boundary Waters Podcast: The Knife Lake Route