South Lake to Hungry Jack Lake

Grand Marais, Minnesota 55604

South Lake to Hungry Jack Lake

South Lake to Hungry Jack Lake Professional Review and Guide

"This is a very unusual and scenic trip that follows the border along part of the Voyageurs highway. On the north shore of Gunflint and North Lakes the remains of a historical town and a railroad can be found. A railcar can be used to haul the loaded canoe at one portage. The famous “Height of Land” Portage is negotiated and a wooden “stairstep” forms part of another portage. The world-renowned Rose Lake scenery can be photographed, and fishing opportunities abound.

From the public boat access it can be about a day’s paddling to the east end of Gunflint Lake, especially if unfavorable winds diminish your progress. Get an early start. All five of the campsites are located at the east end. Independence Day storm–affected area."

South Lake to Hungry Jack Lake Reviews

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This is an excellent trip if you enjoy paddling large lakes. Camping on the first island on Gunflint Lake Day 1 we saw the norther lights come out here before 10 pm. Day 2 was a 15 mile or so trek on to Rose Lake, the scenery at Rose lake and on the way is some of the best I've seen in all of the BWCA. A cliff on the west side of Rose Lake can be seen for miles while crossing South Lake and that's just the beginning. Once you begin entering the main channel of Rose you begin feeling as if you are in a large natural amphitheater. The third day, the first day we saw other people, it was time for the stairway portage over to duncan. Which really wasn't too bad, but about 2/3 of the way up we came accross portage falls. About 25 feet high and running over granite which has been polished for hundreds of thousands of years I'm sure. About the most amazing waterfall I've come accross and this is about number 250. Once you come to the top it's a good idea to get your towel here and double back to the falls for a bath in some cold water. Right here all of the soreness will wash away as the pure cold water replenishes your strength and makes you feel human once again. We spent the rest of our time on Duncan lake with several trips back to Rose lake. The stairway portage also crosses the border route backpacking trail. This trail leads up to very high cliffs overlooking Rose Lake. With a view from above, this is the best BWCA sunset I have been witness to. That is saying a lot, because the sunsets up here are like no where else in the world. The last portage on the trail map here says to go over to hungry jack to take out. We went to Bearskin where there is a portage over to hungry jack, between these two portage there is a road from bearskin lodge where you can get picked up. This is much easier and allows you to stay very close to rose lake up until the last day. An amazing trip and you are right on the border the whole time.

South Lake to Hungry Jack Lake Photos

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Trail Information

Grand Marais
Nearby City
Skill Level
3 to 5 days, with fishing and sightseeing
Class I
May through September, depending on weather
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Gunflint Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Gunflint Lake, Long Island Lake, South Lake, Hungry Jack Lake
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018