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Crane Lake / Sand Point Lake / Namakan

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I am heading up to Voyageurs National Park for the first time this summer. I'm planning on going the first week in June.

My plan right now is to launch the boat at Crane Lake and drive north through Sand Point and Namakan. Does anyone have any experience on these lakes? Can you camp anywhere, or do you have to stay at designated campgrouds?

Skippy37 tongue.gif

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Polar Bear

Voyagaire housboats is pretty specific about staying at designated houseboat sites.

I spent quite some time in the park in the 80's and early 90's and I found that the best camp spots are the ones designated by the Park Service. Most have a reasonably flat area for a tent and fire. Many have bear boxes and some have latrines. If you were boat camping without a rented houseboat you have some more options.

If you have never camped in bear country it would be helpful to talk to someone who has. That's whats nice about a houseboat, I've never heard of a bear actually trying to board one. The bears in the park are very used to being around people, many will only give you a dirty look as they tear open your cooler while you stand there like an idiot banging on a frying pan with a stick.

Check out the Ash River visitor center and the Kettle Falls Hotel. Its a great area and I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip.

Polar Bear

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Xplorer

Skippy,
I have boat camped on Namakan about 25 times in the last 6 years (6 times last summer) and have always stayed in one of the designated sites. You can camp anywhere but,you are not allowed by park law to cut down trees(even dead ones) and a ranger todl me even brushing was a "no-no". The boat sites usually have tent pads,fire pit, picnic table, and many have a bear box, some even have docks. I have spent most of my time in th ewest half of namakan, but have taken rides all the way down to Crane lake. The area is great, you will enjoy it. Walleyes have special reg's so check them out.
Try a search for "voyageurs park" and that should get you the national park service site for more park regs/info.
Xplorer

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Xplorer

PS:
Bears definitly will not only jump on a moored houseboat but they will jump into a boat pulled up on shore. Had a 300-350# brute decide to board mine last 4th of July weekend. He nearly ripped off my windshield as he came flying out of it when I yelled at him. He was trying to get to a small cooler that I had leeches/nightcrawlers in. I talked to the next campsite over the next day and he had been in their boat the day before.
Do not leave anything out that they can find/scent. I've only had one incident with a bear (last year) in all the times I've gone. Once was enough tho smile.gif
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