Remote Western Loop
to Amoeber Lake
- Skill Level
- Entry Point
- Portage Rods
- Longest Portage
This route will take you off the more popular lakes and into challenging and wonderful corner of the BWCA. You’ll head west along the Canadian border, through lakes that get significantly fewer visitors than other parts of the wilderness. This route isn’t the fastest way through the BWCA, but will reward an adventurous spirit who doesn’t shy away from a challenge.
Detailed Route Info
Start your journey at one of the Saganaga public access points and paddle north to Swamp Lake. Portage up into Ashdick Lake, a neat, off-the-beaten-track lake with two campsites.
When leaving Ashdick, a 55-rod portage leads over to Ester Lake, a big lake with five designated campsites, including four clustered to the south on or near a large island. The shallows near these campsites have a sandy bottom and are ideal for swimming. Paddle south through the channel connecting to Hanson Lake.
You will now press deeper into an even more remote portion of the wilderness. A 110-rod portage leads to Cherry Lake, where impressive 70-foot cliffs run along the western shore. Travel through several more lakes and portages (be sure to take notice of the rocky palisades on Ottertrack Lake’s soughtern shore!) until you reach Amoeber Lake.
From Amoeber to Topaz to Cherry Lake, you’ll have a couple of short portages. Continue down to Hanson Lake along the tough110-rod portage you took earlier in this trip. Next, a challenging 80-rod portage leads you from Ester Lake back down into Ottertrack where you will paddle back to where you began, taking the Monument Portage from Ottertrack to Swamp Lake, a boulder mix of glacial erratics. Your route finishes by taking the short portage back into Saganaga and to your car.
*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
Like what you see?
Donate to support this valuable resource and ensure the wilderness you love stays protected from threats and stays wild for future generations.Donate Now
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.
Leave Your Review
Ready to Reserve Your Permits?
Once you have selected your route it’s time to reserve your permit to ensure your spot for the date you want.