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BWCA Portage 779 (Sea Gull to Paulson)

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Approximate Length:
2057m (409 rods)


Climb/Descent Meters:

"Hilliness" Index

# of Comments:

On 6/1/2023 9:44:16 PM, rationmaster said:
Visit Date:

Personally my favorite portage in the BWCA. It's long and can be extremely steep at times and the southern side of the portage would be pretty sketchy in wet conditions. But it also has some amazing views and is a really pretty portage. My group named it "cigarettes after sex".
On 3/13/2023 9:09:30 PM, Riley Smith said:
Visit Date:

I didn't know whether to be terrified or excited. My final guide trip of the year would be leading a group of college-aged gap year students on a leadership outing. The trip would be run with each of them taking turns being the guide and I would let the group decide the route (or at least decide between the options I presented.) After taking their individual time to think about it, the group decided to start with Paulsen. After leaving Blankenberg landing, our first portage would be this legendary monster. And the old saying sure is true: "wonderful hike, terrible portage." This thing is just demoralizing. It keeps climbing! Besides that, it has plenty of little beaver ponds along the way to trick a person into thinking the portage might be done (it's not.) There are also plenty of open rock stretches which make for tricky footing and navigating. That said, it is also one of the prettiest portages out there. I finished in one push with the 18fter and went back for the crew. I had packed in such a way so every person would either have one pack or one canoe (no double packing.) When I found one girl without a pack, I was a little upset. Where did your pack go?!? She had passed it off to a guy who also had a canoe. Sigh.... So much for teamwork. I headed back to find him. He was leap frogging his canoe forward and then going back for the pack and repeating this effort alone. I grabbed the pack from him and we headed off together to finish strong. Of all the portages I have done, I think this should chalk up as the hardest. Because I encountered it in good weather and in terrific shape at the end of a guide season, I got through pretty smoothly, but every attribute about this one shapes up to be one of the most demanding portages in the BWCA. I commend my group since they did this one and then eight more on before finishing day one.
On 8/3/2020 9:08:36 AM, kriss357 said:
Visit Date:

This map has the wrong distance. This is a 515 rod portage. The elevation chart is also missing the steep drop to the landing on the Paulson end. This is a very challenging portage. The elevation change between Seagull and Paulson is over 200 feet, not even counting all the other ups/downs. However, the vistas are gorgeous and the blueberries plentiful. Expect downed trees.
On 11/29/2017 12:51:09 PM, streams180 said:
Visit Date:

This was a very tough portage, we pulled out of Paulson and portaged to Seagull. It was difficult to find the landing upon arriving once we found it and pulled the canoe out we followed the river with just our bags to scope it out since there was a fallen tree blocking the trail. Once we climbed up a cliff where we dropped our bags, we trekked back to grab our canoe and found another path to the right of the river that goes straight up a cliff which we chose to actually take. Once we finally got to where we dropped our bags we started the portage which took about an hour or so to reach Seagull, the path as we got closer to Seagull became a lot nicer to trek. Once we hit the Seagull landing wow it was like a beach. Let me tell you if you approach the Seagull landing to Paulson its very deceiving because it gets tougher as you approach Paulson, but overall a great experience just very difficult.
On 7/3/2015 2:30:38 PM, TuscaroraBorealis said:
Visit Date:

Just remember, follow the creek. Lots of ups & downs, which translates into scenic overlooks. Berries galore! At about the half way point there's a pile of rocks that looks like it could be a wolf's den. Trail traces around a beautiful gorge on the Paulson end before dropping down steeply to cross a rock garden. There were several large cedars leaning across the trail near the Paulson landing. Overall it's quite difficult, but I thought it was an awesome experience.
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Paulson portage creek
Paulson portage creek by TuscaroraBorealis
Paulson portage gorge
Paulson portage gorge by TuscaroraBorealis
Sea Gull lake overlook
Sea Gull lake overlook by TuscaroraBorealis
Descent to Paulsen
Descent to Paulsen by Riley Smith
RWS_5018.jpg by Riley Smith
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