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Sluggman42  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, March 26, 2019 6:55:28 PM(UTC)


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While sitting here dreaming of summer/fall travels.... I'm sure you all understand.  I see all three of these entry points clustered together at the west end of Poplar lake.  For whatever reason, I've never been to this section of the BWCA, so can someone clarify how this works?  The entry points all have different lakes listed, though none are the actual lake that you start on.  Is there some requirement where you have to camp on the entry point lake the first night?  That seems really silly if you want to have a long first day, but otherwise I'm lost.  I'm sure someone here can help!  Thanks.... 

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Ben Strege  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, March 26, 2019 8:24:52 PM(UTC)


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Poplar Lake is not actually in the Boundary Waters, but it is the lake you would launch from. In the maps, I have put the entry points where you would most likely launch from instead of where it enters the Boundary Waters. With a permit, you must enter the Boundary Waters at the location listed and during the day listed on the permit.

#47 - Enter at Lizz Lake (https://goo.gl/pTofHh). Alternatively, you can go through Swamp Lake instead (https://goo.gl/koijhe). Most people go through Lizz since the portages are shorter.

#48 - Enter at Meeds Lake (https://goo.gl/7oVfrb)

#49 - Enter at Skipper Lake (https://goo.gl/6YPzKv)

Sluggman42  
#3 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2019 8:23:28 AM(UTC)


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Thanks Ben, that makes way more sense. I was trying to figure out why all three were listed together despite being different locations. Speaking of which, has anyone been to that area? Specifically if you get to Gaskin/Hanson/Omega area is it far enough in to get decent solitude, or are there just too many nearby entry points? Planning for next year already... :)
TuscaroraBorealis  
#4 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 1:16:11 PM(UTC)


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The same 'phenomenon' (3 EP's originating at essentially the same spot)occurs at Round Lake just a little further up the Gunflint Trail.

If solitude is your primary concern? I would say that the Skipper EP offers the best chance. We did a trip through there a few years ago.
https://www.paddleplanne...eport.aspx?reportnum=128
WanderingKansas  
#5 Posted : Friday, February 28, 2020 9:59:28 AM(UTC)


Originally Posted by: Sluggman42 Go to Quoted Post
Thanks Ben, that makes way more sense. I was trying to figure out why all three were listed together despite being different locations. Speaking of which, has anyone been to that area? Specifically if you get to Gaskin/Hanson/Omega area is it far enough in to get decent solitude, or are there just too many nearby entry points? Planning for next year already... :)

 

I don't have experience, but I'm also seriously considering this area for my next BWCA adventure. I understand that Poplar is a very popular lake, but I would guess that you can find solitude when you get a couple lakes away from the entry point, especially depending on the time of year. I'm considering a trip after Labor Day, hoping that the area will be quieter than the late June to late August season.

My goal is to get to Winchell and end in Poplar.... either by loop, out-and-back, or point-to-point from Cross Bay.

Northwoodsman  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, March 3, 2020 7:56:07 PM(UTC)


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Out of those three EP's I prefer #47.  I have stayed at Rockwood the last few years and paddle away from their landing.  It's about 20 mimutes across Poplar, then a short easy portage into Lizz.  It's a 20 minute paddle down Lizz then a short easy portage into Caribou.  About 1/3 the way across Lizz you enter the BWCA.  The first campsites that you get to on this route are on Caribou, I find them generally over-used and in poor condition.  It's about 20 minutes through Caribou and then a short easy poratge to Horseshoe.  Horseshoe has some decent sites and a pretty good chances at seeing moose.  It's almost 30 minutes through Horsehoe.  To get to Gaskin take the longer portage out of the south arm of Horseshoe (it's easier than the three short ones).  It's not a bad portage (I'm really out of shape and don't mind it at all).  Gaskin has great sites and is 3-4 hours in (double-portaging) so the crowds start to thin out.  The portage to Winchell isn't my favorite, it has a poor landing on the Gaskin side and it gets your heart pumping.  Watch for winds on Winchell.  It's large narrow lake and the winds cominig from the west will be very difficult.  If you skip Winchell and if you go out of the NW corner of Gaskin and continue to Omega, it has a great site on it.  These long, skinny lakes are beautiful.  The portage from Kiskadinna into Muskeg is known as "The Wall" but it's much easier going from east to west than vice-versa. The portage from Muskeg to Long Island is flat but follows a creek bed.  If water levels are high this is a tough crawl over rocks and logs.  Long Island is a very nice lake.  Just to the south of Long Island Cherokee and Frost are favorites as well.  It fairly easy travelling from Long Island to EP #50 which is actually on the Cross River north of Ham Lake.  Long Island Lake to the EP takes about 4-5 hours double portaging.  I love this area.

Ben Strege  
#7 Posted : Saturday, March 7, 2020 4:43:26 PM(UTC)


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Originally Posted by: WanderingKansas Go to Quoted Post

I don't have experience, but I'm also seriously considering this area for my next BWCA adventure. I understand that Poplar is a very popular lake, but I would guess that you can find solitude when you get a couple lakes away from the entry point, especially depending on the time of year. I'm considering a trip after Labor Day, hoping that the area will be quieter than the late June to late August season.

My goal is to get to Winchell and end in Poplar.... either by loop, out-and-back, or point-to-point from Cross Bay.

I took a trip to both Caribou and Long Island last year. The Caribou trip was a family trip - my family and my sister's family, 5 boys under the age of 10. We stayed on the first campsite on Caribou. Not much solitude on that lake, but that was not our goal with them. Decent campsites on Caribou, but as mentioned, a bit overused.

The Long Island trip was great. It was a very nice lake. Most of the campsites were taken, but they were spread out enough that I did not feel crowded. (On Caribou, they are all bunched together.) 

eagle98mn  
#8 Posted : Monday, March 30, 2020 9:01:34 AM(UTC)


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Originally Posted by: Sluggman42 Go to Quoted Post
Specifically if you get to Gaskin/Hanson/Omega area is it far enough in to get decent solitude, or are there just too many nearby entry points? Planning for next year already... :)

I visited the area in August in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, we just went to Horseshoe and basecamped. Although we got a site and enjoyed our time immensely, every site on the lake was taken during our Friday-Sunday.

In 2017, we went to Gaskin by way of Meeds. We didn't see anyone setup along the way and got a beautiful site (#634) toward the west end of Gaskin. While there, we daytripped through Hanson/Omega/Winchell before paddling out by way of Horseshoe/Caribou/Lizz/Poplar. I would say that Gaskin was about half full, one site taken on Hanson, and a couple on Winchell. On the way out, almost every site was taken again on Horseshoe and Caribou.

In summary, I think your odds of finding some seclusion are decent once you get in past Caribou and Horseshoe. Especially since my experiences were both during busier times of year - weekends in mid-August. If you really want seclusion, enter through Meeds since it is the "harder" route in. I really enjoyed our time in this area!

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