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Crane/Namakan/Crane Canoe Trip

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Seasoned Canoe Travelers,

I would like to request info regarding a canoe trip my wife & I plan to do in the late May time-frame up to Crane Lake(put-in) thru to Namakan Narrows and Namakan Lake then back to Crane via Grassy Portage & Grassy Bay.
1. Where on Crane is a good put-in point(resort)?
2. Attainment of any permits(Voyageurs) at this point?
3. Knowledge of the waterway? (Crane up to Harrison Narrows then to Namakan Narrows area)
4. Any other pertinent info would be appreciated please?

Thank-you in advance to any and all that reply. smile.gif

"Lund-Man"


------------------
"Leave NO Trace"

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Dusty

Crane lake wouldn't be my first choice for a canoe trip. You will run into tons of boat traffic all the way thru to Namakan. Anyway you can get on the lake right in the community of crane lake. Navigation is easy and there are no fees to enter or camp.

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Enids Hubby

I go to Crane lake every other weekend in the summer time and have seen hundreds of people canoeing. Yes there is a lot of boat traffic but it will only bother you in the narrows. Voyaguers National Park is a great place.Most people who canoe there go into BWCA or Quetico Provincial park , Lac La Croix area .Have not seen a lot of canoes on Namaken , the waves can get bad with the NW wind . To answer your questions , The best place to put in at , assuming this is a few day trip is Voyaguer lodge in Crane Lake . you can park there and the enjoy a meal before your off and when return. also the dnr/park office is right by there. If you camp over night you do need a permit there is no cost but you need to fill one out they are located at the public access dock by Voyaguer resort. The entire water way is maked with numbered buoys and land markers , they are green and red , to avoid rocks you pass the red buoys on the right when going upstream .Being you will be in a canoe it doesn't matter much on the side just get a map and follow the numbers , you won't get lost.Your worst part of the trip as far as boat traffic will be King Williams narrows between Crane and Sand point just stay to the side , it does come to a pinch point but in a canoe you can go around the point in a shallow area. Harrison narrows is not really a narrows and plenty of room. Namakan narrows is longer and has a few turns and most boat don't go real fast there so just stay to the side .
I have only crossed grassy portage on snowmobiles and don't know how well it is marked. There are tons of camp site in the park some have bbqs, bear proof food lockers and some have a toilet seat off in the open woods . All Campsites have signs on them. There are some maps available that show which sites have which ammenities.You might what to check out the park web site nps.gov/voya/home.htm . Also there is a canoe outfitter, campground about 5 miles from crane where you stay the night before and have place to sleep and showers and campfires and they shuttle you back and forth. I believe it's called LaCroix outfitters. Hope you have fun!

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fishkab

Lund-Man,, You can check out Voyageurs Adventures.com for more information on a canoe trip in Voyageurs National Park. Good Luck, Fishkab

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Timber

You wrote:

they are green and red , to avoid rocks you pass the red buoys on the right when going upstream .

This is incorrect. It's "Red Right Return". When going upstream (against the current) keep the red bouy on your right.

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Enids Hubby

Timber , I don't understand your post, you said what I said . Maybe I should clarify. The water flows from Crane to Sand Point to Namaken . So if you are going to Namaken from Crane the red buoys should be on your left side . when going to Crane from Namaken the red buoys should be on your right. I would hate to confuse anyone because you need to know this especially when the water level is low.

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Timber

Enids Hubby, your last post was exactly right. What you wrote before was:

"to avoid rocks you pass the red buoys on the right when going upstream"

I think it should have said; "to avoid rocks you pass the red buoys on the LEFT when going upstream." Just like you pass a car on the left. I guess I was just being sure so there'd be no mistake.

I have a cabin on Crane, so spend a lot of time there. Maybe see you on the lake(s)!

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Enids Hubby

Timber,
My in-laws have a cabin on Bear Island, If I run into you I'll buy you a beer at Nelson's some night.

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Guest

Thank-you!

I guess I am looking in an area that is reportedly densely populated with both motor boats and canoes.
We have not been canoeing in this area b4 yet. The usual trip is up the Gunflint Trail area or Arrowhead Trail lakes. Thought we would try something new. just don't wish to try something new AND crowded as it seems it is.

Any suggestions towards a more quiet and non-populated with watercraft(as many) we would very much appreciate. smile.gif
We are looking at a last of May time-frame with a length of trip to be no more than 5 days in the BWCA. Wish to find a route that is less traveled yet has fishing(CPR) potential and wildlife(4 legged) photo possibilities please.

Thank-you again for your replies and thank-you again in advance for any new replies regarding a quieter, less busy route in this area of BWCA.

"Lund-Man"

------------------
"Leave NO Trace"

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graffitigreg

Give Anderson's outfitters a call 800-777-7186.

They will put your canoe on top carriers, your suff in the boat, ferry you into and out of Lac La Croix. It's not inexpensive but in my opinion you'll be way better off and have a better trip.

I've crossed Crane, Sand Point, and Namakan in a canoe several times. It's not a lot of fun and certainly not a wilderness experience. Going through King Williams Narrows on a busy day in a loaded canoe, empty canoe, or any canoe is sure to leave you with eyes wide open. It is what they say "narrow" and the wakes just bounce from side to side. Dooable but not necessary.

Have Andersons run you up the Loon River into La Croix. You can paddle around and they will pick you up pretty much anywhere they can that you agree on beforehand. There's even a nice resort on the north side of the lake - Handberg's I believe, where you can buy your lady a steak, a tee shirt, or some chocolate. You can paddle up the Loon River but again - boat traffic is a thing.

It's not Lake Minnetonka but the route to Namakan is pretty busy.

Anderson's can also take you into Namakan but Namakan is wide open to boat traffic and they have boats, houseboats, and more boats. That doesn't mean it's crowded but there are plenty of folks.

You might want to re-think May unless you like pretty cool nights. In 2002 the ice out was the first week of May. I'd rather be there in July or August when swimming AND fishing were good.

Want more info email me: gjkeiser@att.net.

Just my two cents.

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Guest

Hey there graffitigreg!

Thank-you so much for your in-depth reply!

I have already been in contact by email with Anderson's Outfitter's about 2 weeks ago now. They have not replied to my request yet....(?)
I will call them probably soon.

Sounds like we may be returning to the east(Gunflint/Arrowhead Trails) area of BWCAW just to enjoy the seclusion that we have enjoyed many times in the past.

I do appreciate your message Greg. It sounds like we would be out of our usual realm of wilderness canoeing we so enjoy.
My wife wanted to go see the pictographs up near Namakan. But if we have to swim and tow our canoe simutaneously...well you get the picture better than we and we appreciate your honesty in that regard. smile.gif

I will email you later on when I get more puter time. You sound like a well experienced outdoorsman...stand proud of that!

"Lund-Man"

------------------
"Leave NO Trace"

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graffitigreg

Anderson's is seasonal. Right now they are doing the boat, sports, and travel show circuit. I've used them many times and have always been very satisfied. They will get back to you if they get your message.

If you are going into the BWCA or Quetico you'll need a permit so oit's best to decide your route early and get your reservation.

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Big Roy

I gone through that area many times myself, the best by far is Zup's. They offer a tow service from Crane. You can e-mail me if you want more details.

magfishing@yahoo.com

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Guest

Lund-Man,
Don't let everyone scare you away from Voyageurs National Park...there are many benefits to paddling in this area, that even the beautiful Lac LaCroix and BWCA cannot compete with...NO FEES for camping, NO COST permits, NO ENTERANCE FEES, and yes remote wilderness areas that see maybe 100 visitors a summer.
Begin your trip through Ash River or Kabetogama and if you choose to CANOE...head for the interior lakes. The locator lake chain is spectacular, and although the first 2 lakes see day or overnight travelers...quill or loiten lakes see very few tourists and offer remote setting, excellent campsites, and incredible pike and bass fishing...

Other options are hiking the Beast lake system...Sea kayaking the remote islands and passages of Kabetogama and Namakan...or canoeing near the "Lost Bay" area.

I operate Voyageurs Adventures, on Lake Kabetogama and would love to give you some info on paddling in the area. Many paddlers have a perception that these waters are non-stop motor-boats, but there is room for both and some wonderful paddling routes, and campsites that are so incredible...Plus NO FEES.
www.voyageursadventures.com
or email me @ voyageursadventures@yahoo.com

thanks,
Kab_kid

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Guest

Thank-you Boggs! smile.gif

I knew I'd find some optomistic outdoorsman somewhere in this venture!

I will definitely be in contact with you soon! We are just looking for a route in the Namakan/Crane chain that will allow us the experience of seeing those pictographs there and then off into the wild blue yonder of the pristine and beautiful "God's Country" of canoeing we know is there...somewhere.
And as you state, we aren't easily scared away from any remote area experience.

Again, thank-you sir and I will be contacting you soon for more info regarding a remote canoe/paddle trip in the area you definitely know more of than we! smile.gif

"Lund-Man"

------------------
"Leave NO Trace"

[This message has been edited by LUND-MAN (edited 01-20-2004).]

[This message has been edited by LUND-MAN (edited 01-20-2004).]

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