Echo Trail Wilderness Day Trips
Echo Trail Outfitters is the only outfitter within 5 miles of all of these unique wilderness day trips, allowing you to spend less time traveling and more time on the water. We will set you up with all the equipment you will need to have an enjoyable and safe experience. Items you may want to bring are food, beverages, camera, fishing poles, bait, tackle, swimsuit, towel, sun screen, and a back pack. We offer day trips toEcho Trail Outfitters Guests and also to visitors staying at Ely area resorts.
Cost is $40/day for each 2 person Kevlar canoe (includes paddles, life preservers, a map and tie downs if necessary). Three person and solo Kevlar canoes are also available. Canoe shuttle is also an additional charge.
Boundary Waters Sampler
This popular trip is perfect for those that want a taste of how enjoyable and rewarding a canoe trip through the BWCA can be. From your dock, you will paddle down Fenske Lake to a short portage into Little Sletten Lake. From there you paddle and portage to Sletten Lake and then into Tee Lake. These small, clear water lakes are undeveloped and have the look and feel of being deep into the BWCA. Along the way you can fish for Bass and Panfish or stop at one of the campsites for a picnic lunch. As the day goes on, the portages get a little bit longer and more challenging. When you feel like you have gotten the experience you were looking for, simply turn around and head back to your cabin.
A day trip into North Hegman Lake to see the native Indian pictographs is something you will remember and talk about for years. This trip into the Boundary Waters starts with a scenic drive up the Echo Trail to your first portage, where you will hike through the woods, past some of the most magnificent and towering pine trees. A short paddle up South Hegman Lake brings you to you second portage and a picturesque creek flowing out of North Hegman. Once on North Hegman, you will paddle along the rocky shores until you reach the large cliffs where the pictographs are painted. After spending time trying to speculate what they mean and how they survived all these years, you can go explore some of the bays looking for wildlife. There is an island on North Hegman that is the perfect place to stop and go for a refreshing swim.
Bass Lake Loop
If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, consider getting dropped off at Bass Lake and spend the day paddling and portaging back to your dock on Fenske Lake. This route is one way, allowing you to explore and travel new wilderness all day long. You will paddle through seven small lakes with minimal or no development on them and five of the seven portages are short. This is about a six to eight hour trip depending on your experience level and how much time you spend on other activities such as fishing, berry picking and lunch.
Devil's Cascade Waterfalls
A trip to see the Devil's Cascade Waterfalls is an all day adventure that is worth the effort. Located about 20 miles up the Echo Trail from Fenske Lake is the Little Indian Sioux River that leads you to Upper and Lower Pauness Lakes. The falls are located on the north end of the lake where the water drops out of Lower Pauness and flows north into Canada, which is only a couple miles away. This is a trip into the Boundary Waters, so a self issuing permit is required. You will need to follow the rules and regulations of the BWCA, such as no glass bottles or aluminum cans.
A short paddle across Fenske Lake takes you to your first of only two portages on this route. Another short paddle across beautiful Everett Lake brings you to a short pull over portage into Twin Lakes. As you canoe down the lake, you will see a lot of scenery and very few cabins as you end up at the Dead River. Slow down and watch for wildlife as this slow moving river is a sanctuary for wildlife. The river winds its way between high rock faces on its way to Burntside Lake. You can explore Burntside for awhile before turning around and paddling back to your cabin. Another option for this route is to make it a one way trip by being dropped off at one of the public landings on Burntside and paddling back.
Short - One Lake Day Trips
Consider spending the day on one of these other nearby lakes for a day of fishing and sightseeing. Slim Lake and Mudro Lake are in the BWCA and have short simple portages. Nels and Ed Shave Lakes are small walleye lakes that you can drive right up to. There are no homes or cabins on these motorized lakes that are just outside the BWCA. Picket Lake is just up the road and has easy access also.