SD - Backpacking - Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MN)

  • Tue, August 15, 2023
  • 3:00 PM
  • Mon, August 21, 2023
  • 3:00 PM
  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MN), Entry Point #24 Fall Lake
  • 0


Registration is closed

Boundary Waters Canoe Area:

The Crown Jewel of Minnesota

Tuesday August 15 - Monday August 21, 2023

Trip Description: Join us for this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the crown jewel of Minnesota nature, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Located in northern Minnesota on the Canadian border, this area is famous for its pristine lakes, singing loons and great fishing. This trip will be a backpacking canoe trip, meaning every participant will work in community with others on the trip to share responsibilities like cooking, building fires, switching off paddling, and securing food supplies overnight. Trips to the BWCA are considered a right of passage in Minnesota culture, and I am excited to share this experience with you! 

Note: Flights to/from MSP Airport are not included. Our backpacking trip will begin August 16th and end August 21st, but plan an extra day on both ends for travel to/from our entry/exit points (Point #24, Fall Lake).

Route Overview: Starting on Fall Lake you travel north into Basswood Lake and after two days or so of paddling, around the time you start to miss portaging you portage back towards Fall Lake. Green line indicates route.

Distance: ~30miles

Route Type: Loop


Tuesday, August 15th

Arrive to MSP, drive to Packsack Canoe Trips & Log Cabins. Overnight stay in the bunkhouse included with registration costs (see PS image on map below).

Wednesday, August 16th

Depart from entry location, Point #24 Fall Lake (see map below for Point #24 marked). Canoe through Fall Lake, portage to Newton Lake, canoe north through Newton Lake, portage to Lewis Narrows to set up camp (see location 1 marked on map below). Both portages pass waterfalls for good viewing (Newton Falls and Pipestone Falls).

Thursday, August 17th

Canoe/portage to campsite #2 (marked on map below). Portage from Lewis Narrows to Back Bay and group decision to either paddle south through Hoist Bay or to portage east of Back Bay.

Friday, August 18th

Day trip to islands and lakes. Enjoy camp or fishing.

Saturday, August 19th

Canoe/portage to campsite #3 in Jackfish Bay. No portages on route.

Sunday, August 20th

Day trip to islands and lakes. Enjoy camp or fishing.

Monday August 21st

Depart for Exit #24 Fall Lake, including 3 short portages through Lewis Narrows and past Newton/Pipestone Falls again. Drive back to Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

The below map depicts our route and campsites available for use (colored dots). We will camp at the nearest available campsite in relation to our resting locations (numbered below).

Cost: See per person registration type. This includes canoe rentals, permits, communal Duluth packs (x2), and Bunk House accommodations at Packsack for the evening of Tuesday August 15th. Flights not included. Food and Travel (car ride north) coordination is recommended with the Trip Leader.

Cancellation/Refund: No refunds will be available after July 1st, 2023. If an alternate attendee is confirmed, refund coordination is available after July 1st, 2023.

Travel: Coordination with the Trip Leader is encouraged. Flights are not included, but an early arrival Tuesday is recommended for the drive up to Packsack. You are responsible for your travel to Packsack, but Trip Leader assistance is available. Direct flights from San Diego to MSP are available through Sun Country and Delta Airlines. There will be several cars leaving throughout the day from the Twin Cities (i.e., MSP airport) to Packsack (lodging). It is a 4.5hour drive from the airport to the BWCA, so early arrival is critical for a timely arrival to Packsack and to avoid personally renting a car.

Experience: This trip does not require previous canoe/portage experience, and is considered an easy route due to the limited portaging and base camp days included in the schedule (2 full days). If you have never portaged or paddled, please let the Trip Leader know and they will be more than happy to coordinate with you. 

Weather: These mid-summer temperatures are high 50s to high 70s. Of course, mid-August is warmer than early July, and you can expect a bump in humidity as the summer progresses. August averages about 8 days of rain, so bring rain gear. This is the end of the mosquito season, meaning mosquitos will be waning but this is always location dependent in the BWCA.

Bring: 10 Essentials (no kidding, every person needs a personal first aid kit); water filtration; food for each meal plus extra snacks; water bottle and filter system; sleeping bag and pad; tent; appropriate footwear (land and water); layered clothing; jacket; rain gear; wide hat; compass; toilet paper & trowel; jet boil/compact camping stove; fire starter; headlamp; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; camera and entertainment (book, card game, etc). 

Note: Some communal equipment will be utilized, like jet boils/stove to reduce duplicative equipment being carried.

Other Considerations: As with any backcountry experience, this one is "Leave no Trace" - our trash comes out with us. Active bear area - mandatory use of either bear cannisters or hanging food sacks.

Trip Leader: Tyler Roosden (651.497.1611) or at 

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