Lac La Croix Express
- Skill Level
- Entry Point
- Portage Rods
- Longest Portage
If you dream of exploring Lac La Croix, then this is the route for you. Follow a popular route though Nina Moose Lake and then on to Lake Agnes, both of which are fine destinations in their own right, before finally reaching Boulder Bay of Lac La Croix.
Detailed Route Info
The biggest challenge of the trip is the initial 160-rod portage down to the edge of the Moose River. Once you put in on the Moose River you will quickly reach an easy 20-rod portage with a short boardwalk over a short muddy section. The paddle up the Moose River to Nina Moose Lake is easy and may have a couple beaver dams, but soon opens up into Nina Moose Lake, which is a very popular lake, so get there early if you want to spend the night.
You will take two medium length portages to get up into Lake Agnes — be sure to look for the monster white pine on the east side of the first portage (it’s hard to miss). Once on Lake Agnes you are at one of the main paddling intersections in the western BWCAW, with options to explore in every direction. Agnes is also a superb destination, with healthy stock of walleye and pike. It is highly recommended to spend a day or two here before pressing on to Lac La Croix.
Take a 115-rod portage out of the east side of Agnes and paddle the lower stretches of the Boulder River north into Boulder Bay. From here, paddle northwest into the island-studded expanse of Lac La Croix. Your options for campsites and fishing are plentiful on Lac La Croix. Return to your starting point by the same route you arrived.
*Route information provided courtesy of Dan Pauly, and have been modified from his book, Exploring the Boundary Waters: A Trip Planner and Guide to the BWCAW. University of Minnesota Press, 2004
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Takes a couple side trips to Points of interest
This is a good, very basic review of this route. I’ve made this trip twice in the past 6 years. The review should add that there is an iconic pictograph north of Boulder Bay, on a sheer rock slab on the Canadian shore of the lake. There is also an invigorating side trip to Curtain Falls to the east. This part of Lac la Croix is known as a decent fishing area, but it’s earnestly fished, so be sure to keep only a few and let the rest go back to keep growing.
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