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BWCA Day 1: On the Road

By July 18, 2012August 5th, 2015Backpacking, Camping, Travel


We’re back! We had a wonderfully relaxing trip to the Boundary Waters, and I’m already looking forward to our next trip back, hopefully a little deeper into the woods to explore more of the rivers and backcountry. Toes first, legs next right?


A little back story since I left you all mostly hanging last week. Originally, we were planning to return to Rocky Mountain National Park for our summer trip. Neil’s brother Alex and our sister-in-law Audrey had decided to join us. We had the site booked and our planned trails marked many months in advance. Then the fires started, and while we held out hope as long as possible that things would calm down, we eventually had to adjust our plans. We drew a 12-hour driving radius around Missouri, and were left with few options that wouldn’t put us directly in the middle of a heat wave. I’ve always wanted to explore the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota, so on a whim I suggested it. Neil checked the outfitters, and found one with sites available in a campground. Squee!


My crappy lens does the view no justice. Must. Get. Wide-angle. Lens.


Entering Superior National Forest, a pre-BWCA tease!


The drive was definitely a long one, but our suffering through Iowa was rewarded with the final four hours being along Lake Superior, with water as far as the eye could see. We traveled through Duluth, past Lutsen, and finally arrived in Grand Marais, a tiny town just a little ways from the Canadian border. We then hooked onto the Gunflint Trail and made our way to our destination, Bearskin Lake.



Because this was our first trip to the area, we decided to take it easy. We opted to stay in a campground adjacent to an outfitter’s lodge (about 2 miles away). Fortunately for us though, the layout of the campground made our stay incredibly private, and there were only a few other campers. Even though this felt easy, the amenities were definitely not glamorous. There were obviously no hook-ups, and we had only pit toilets, and one spicket for drinking water for the whole campground, making for rougher conditions than both of our bigger trips to RMNP and GNP. I kind of regret not taking more pictures of the campground as kind of a “spoof” on a lot of the blogger hotel pics/recaps I often see online.


What our camp lacked in frills it made up for in beautiful views. Our site was right on the lake, with a little path leading down from our site.



We set up our camp and settled in our chairs for a nightcap.


Classy right? But sooo convenient. When you want booze but don’t have a ton of cold pack space, I highly recommend the ol’ plastic mini bottles. Anyhow, so ends our first day. Next: Day Two!


  • misti says:

    Boundary Water is on my list of places to visit. Unfortunately I can’t draw a 12 hour radius and come up with it as an option for me to go…I wish! 12 hours west barely gets me out of Texas and 12 hours east will get me to FL at least!

    • Jessica says:

      Texas is one of those places I’ve always wanted to try, but it seems undoable in all but a few months of the years, have you ever done anything down there?