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brmuskie

Kab - Nam area vacation advice

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brmuskie

I have never been to VNP before and have always wanted to go. I am just starting to plan a summer camping/fishing trip there for this summer and planning a 3-4 day trip over a weekend. Options are pretty open as of right now except the trip can only happen between about June 11 and Labor Day Weekend. It will be just my family - wife and 2 young boys (4 and 3) in a 18 foot boat.

Does anyone have any advice for me before I make too many plans? Specifically seeking which lake to go to, where are good camp sites, best times, etc...

Thanks in advance.

Brent

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Tip Up Rookie

i went last fall out of the ash river landing on the east end of Kab. You can go to Namakan or Kab exploring, but I had better fishing on Kab. There are a bunch of campsites that aren't too far from the landing and you are a little more protected from the wind than on the east end of Kab.

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bobreetz

Camping in VNP with kids at that age would be interesting. It's pretty remote. Water has to be hauled, in fact everything has to be hauled. Bugs can be unbearable at times. The potty is not exactly a pleasant experience, even for old folks. In fact the kids could probably fall in. Talk about traumatic. And there are the bears. They can be a problem. Kabetogama has a nice campground (Woodenfrog) that would be a little easier. You can dock your boat and go out on day trips to scout the park for that perfect campsite for next time. I hate to discourage anyone from going to Voyagers, but I don't know how kids that young would handle it. Consider a small houseboat. It's expensive but at least there are some comforts.

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Hockey Guy

I agree that it will be interesting for you with kids that young. It's not a really safe place for kids that small in my opinion unless you are really watching them at all times. I'm not saying it can't be done, because I have done it with 5 adults and a 3 year old once. Someone really does need to be watching them because the rocks are sharp and slippery. I certainly wouldn't EVER let them take off their life jackets. My brother took the lifejacket his son because the little guy was hot and they were 30 yards away from the water. He took his eyes off him for a couple minutes, and the next thing we knew the little guy was all the way down by the water chasing an insect of some sort.

I would definitely recommend going in on the east end of Kab. The Ash River Visitors Center is a good place. Kab can get pretty rough in a light wind. No matter how windy it is you can go out on the west end of Nam

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brmuskie

Thanks for the concern - but I am not worried at all about bringing the kids up there. The kids go camping but we have never been to VNP before. I take a couple of BWCA trips each year and understand what remote camping is like. I am choosing the VNP for the following reasons; 1. this seems like a good in between step from campground camping with amenities to the BWCA, 2. My wife and I have always wanted to go there, and 3. the boat will make hauling in whatever we choose a possibility. Bugs and bears are everywhere - that shouldn't be more of an issue than in my backyard. Mostly it will be a family camping trip with a little fishing mixed in.

Thanks

Brent

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Brian H

Hey Brent, the kids will have a blast!! Momma too.

Another thought is on the Ash River Trail there is a state campground with a public access right across the street. It's not a fancy campground, maybe 20 sites. Nice tree's and stuff. Won't have to watch the kids quite as close. Restaurant nearby in case of bad weather. Best thing is the Ash River feeds right into Namakin and Kabatogama. Short 10 minute ride and you should be onto the main lake. Maybe a bit longer, it's posted no wake for a portion.

In the evening you can walk down the street and the kids can look at the houseboats at Ebels. grin

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guts

BR, if you can handle the BWCA, Kab will be a breeze. My favorite place that time of year is Lost Bay, on Kab, there are several camping spots back there. If the water is rough, you only need to travel across the lake, less than a mile or so of open water to get the protection on the peninsula. All varieties of fish are back there, water usually has a good current, sites are well protected, all have bear lockers, pit toilets, picnic tables, tent pads and fire rings, most with a grate. Hiking trails near by to inland lakes, EK lake is a very short hike and nice adventure. It is very possible and probably to catch fish from shore, lots of small mouth and pike for the kids to catch.

In my estimation camping at a designated camp site on Kab is quite a few upgrades from truly roughing it.

good luck, guts

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brmuskie

Thanks for the info - sounds like the VNP won't really be roughing it at all. Tent pads, bear lockers, and picnic tables? That sounds great - I can't wait for longer days and open water.

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bobreetz

I wouldn't rule out Crane Lake as a entry point. I've been on both lakes and they both are spectacular. I love Kab but it can get a little rough on windy days as I supposed they all can. I have pictures of a camp site which would be typical of many of the tent sites you'd find in VNP. This particular site is at Browns Bay in Sand Point Lake. There is a dock, and I think a swimming area. The Fire Ring and Tent pads are at the top of a huge granite outcropping and the views in all directions are fantastic. It's about a half hour trip (50 HP Honda) from the Crane entry point, and it's not too far from Canadian Customs island. I don't know if they have a small store at Customs for ice and gas. Maybe someone else would know. To get to Browns Bay, you'd travel through Crane and about halfway up Sand Point into Grassy Bay. There you will find the Grassy Bay Cliffs and some excellent fishing, depending on the time of year. If you'd like to see the pics of the site post a reply with your email and I'll get them to you.

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fishinz4me

please send pics to [email protected] \

Thank you...

Will be heading up to Kab from May 23rd - 30... Cant wait...

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brmuskie

My email is [email protected]

I definitely will look more into Crane Lake - that sounds like an awesome campsite. I don't plan on needing anything from a store while up there so that is not a problem.

thanks again

Brent

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FishingWithKids

Brent,

My wife and four kids (three boys and a girl) camp on Namakan at least once a summer, with the youngest being three years old when we started. We like to find a site Northwest of the Namakan Narrows towards Kabatogema, usually leaving from Crane Lake, although we've used the Ash River landing as well.

It's my kid's favorite spot to go in the world, they never want to vacation anywhere else. We've been through some nasty storms, especially one year on Pat Smith Island, but as long as you're prepared you'll be fine.

Find a spot with a nice beach and you'll have a great time.

Karl

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bobreetz

Karl,

Do the smaller campsites on Namakan like the one on Pat Smith Island have docks. I know the island from passing it years ago but I don't remember seeing a dock. I'll bet riding out a storm while camped on Pat Smith Island was an experience. My wife would have said "that's it, we're going now".

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Voyageur

Karl,

Do the smaller campsites on Namakan like the one on Pat Smith Island have docks. I know the island from passing it years ago but I don't remember seeing a dock. I'll bet riding out a storm while camped on Pat Smith Island was an experience. My wife would have said "that's it, we're going now".

Some have docks, Pat Smith does not.

This map, and its legend, is fairly accurate:

http://www.nps.gov/voya/planyourvisit/upload/campMap2005pg2.pdf

-Voyageur

.

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guts

I would stick with Kab for a family affair, shorter boat ride to campsites, resorts and many stores within a short travel distance for emergencies, for the kids entertainment, and etc. The Kab area has a couple of VNP Park programs twice a week on the mainland. Kabetogama is totally within the National Park, so no worries about accidentally crossing the border.

Crane is a very busy US port of entry from and to Canada, and can be quite busy and sometime noisy with seaplane traffic.

BR do your homework all the interconnected lakes are beautiful as the BWCA, all have good things to offer.

good luck, guts

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FishingWithKids

No, there isn't a dock on Pat Smith, just a pebble beach landing, not ideal for kids. If there's a beach, there isn't a dock, but if there's a rock shoreline, the Park Sevice has put in docks. Birch Cove, Mitchell Island, and Rusty Cove all have nice beaches. I've also camped at Aspen Bench, which has a dock.

I've camped at Birch Cove many times, one night with 70MPH winds (housboat service checked on us the next mornings, winds clocked at Crane Lake weather site). Trees down, tent blew over at 10:30, 18' boat 100% out of the lake, pretty exciting. I had my three boys, youngest was four at the time, and my father-in-law. Those are the trips you remember.

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bobreetz

You're right as far as Crane being busy. You need to pay attention, watching for planes landing. Now, I generally go in late August and the traffic is way down compared to June/July period. And you're right about the length of the trip to campsites. With gas costing what it does, it certainly is a consideration. I spent many wonderful summers in the 80's and 90's at Rocky Point Resort on the West end of Kabetogama. We would come up on a Wednesday, camp at one of the sites until Saturday morning, and then go to the resort for a weeks lodging. Loved it. Best of both worlds. I've seen many of the campsites on that end of the lake. It seems to me that Crane/Sandpoint/Namakan have better campsites with better views and access. In the end though, you probably have to take what you can get. If you can come to VNP, no matter where you end up, it will be a great time.

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SledNeck

Labor Day is an excellent time to fish kab

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NBR

Remember these bears haven't been hunted in years they don't have great fear of humans.

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SledNeck

Remember these bears haven't been hunted in years they don't have great fear of humans.

Yeah, thats why I camp at woodenfrog rather than in the park!

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