This is a multiday canoe trip (we spent 3 days/2 nights) for groups of up to 9 people (4 canoes). Permits are $16/person and $8/youth. Along this trip, there are 4 portages (longest = 160 rods). 

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is located in the northern portion of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. What once used to be covered by glaciers is now home to approximately 1.1 million acres of land with 1,200 miles of canoe routes. Permits are required for access to the area at a rate of $16/person and $8/youth.

Entry #14 at the Little Indian Sioux River (north) allows 6 people per day. The adventure starts with a 40-rod portage (1 rod = 16.5 ft). After the portage, the paddle takes you along the Little Indian Sioux River. Once you're into the swing of things, the river hits a 60-rod portage that bypasses rough water and puts you back onto the Little Sioux River. Paddling for another 1.5 miles brings you to Upper Pauness Lake with 8 designated camp spots (camp spots may differ year to year since they move camp locations to decrease human impact on the land). These camp spots are located with fireplaces and a metal grate, and most often have some form of seating around/near the fire.

Lake Pauness is divided by a peninsula giving two route options: take a hard right and hit a difficult 8-rod portage or paddle halfway through the lake and take a 40-rod portage. Once back in your canoe/kayak it is a short paddle to the edge of the lake where the longest, 160-rod, portage starts. After a rest from the long haul, the route continues on the Little Sioux for about another 1.5 miles before it starts opening up into Loon Lake. Motors are allowed in Loon Lake so be wary of heavier traffic. Once into the lake it's a good idea to claim a camp spot that suites your taste before heading out on the lake to fish or adventure.

As for a scale of time, two of us paddled the distance to Loon Lake easily the first day. We spent the second day fishing and paddling around the lake (and still didn't see the entire lake). We were able to catch 6 Northern and 3 bass. We kept 3 of the largest Northern Pike, which we enjoyed for a fish fry the second night. The third day was dedicated to paddling out the way we came in.

Pack List

  • Permit
  • Canoe/Kayak
  • Paddles
  • Water Filtration System
  • Dry Bags
  • Back Packing Essentials
  • Fishing Gear
  • Sunscreen/Sunhat
  • Fish Fry materials (pan, oil, batter, etc.)
Show More
Activities Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Kayaking, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer
Features
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Kawishiwi Falls

55 Saves

Canoe or Kayak the Ensign and Birch Lake Loop

29 Saves

Hike Blind Ash Bay Trail in Voyageurs NP

26 Saves