Motors Allowed?
Easy / Class A
14.50 mi (23.34 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness is unlike any other wilderness in the United States. At over a million acres, it sits along the border on the U.S. and Canada and is compromised of hundreds of interconnected lakes to form one giant ecosystem. This ecosystem can easily be explored by kayak or canoe through overnight paddles to designated primative campsites scattered all throughout the entire protected area. Each site is different and unique with it's own fire grate and latrine. All of them provide different views and vistas to explore along with uncompromised fishing. Every designated entry point has a limited number of daily permits to help restrict overcrowding. The entire experience truly helps one to understand the way of the old Voyageurs. 

The Kaswishiwi (pronounced "KAH-WISH-IH-WAY") River is one of the most endangered rivers in North America. It is threatened by sulfide-ore mining companies that could compromise the integrity of the river's quality. That being said, it is one of the most beautiful rivers in the northern United States. It starts deep in the heart of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and works it's way through, showing it's true beauty around every corner. 

This route starts at entry point 29, the North Kawishiwi River. It technically starts outside of the actual designated wilderness at Ojibway Lake and into Triangle Lake. After the portage out of Triangle Lake, the BWCA officially starts when you enter the Kawishiwi River. You then follow the current of the river south. It will take you through several small portages around rapids in the narrowing portions of the river. Some rapids are deep enough and small enough to be run in the boat instead of portaging around; water levels during the time of year you are there strongly determine if that is possibe. After a 14-mile journey that can be at any pace you are comfortable with, there is another entry point (Entry Point 32, South Kawishiwi River) that you can use in order to arrange a shuttle pick-up. You can also paddle back to your original entry if you would like as well. The route you take doesn't have to be exactly like this one. The beautiful thing about the BWCA is the fact that you can go anywhere for any amount of time you'd like. The possibilites are endless!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National or state forest pass

Open Year-round



Beautiful untouched wilderness. Great fishing. Very light traffic. Rapids.


Deep wilderness. Many portages. Mosquitos and ticks.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)


Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)


Water Temperature

64.00 °F (17.78 °C)


Family friendly
Vault toilet
Boat ramp(s)
Backcountry camping
Geologically significant
Native artifacts
Old-growth forest
Bird watching
Big Game Watching

Trail type




Typically multi-day


Shuttle required


Site characteristics: Water


Portage required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, Minnesota


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