Entry Point 28 - Snowbank Lake (restricted)
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Entry Point: Snowbank Lake #28 (restricted) Last Visited: July 25, 2015
Maps: Fisher F-10, F-11, F-31 Special; McKenzie #9 Daily Quota: 1
Fire History:
Nearest Ranger Station: Kawishiwi Ranger Station, Ely, MN on MN Hwy. 1
Portage Length from Parking Lot: 5 rods Restroom at Entry Point: Yes, over by the motorboat landing which is a couple hundred yards away

Entry Point 28 (restricted) - Snowbank Lake

Kawishiwi Ranger District

The restriction of this permit is that you MUST camp on Snowbank Lake all nights. However, you may travel to other lakes in the BWCA during the day.

Snowbank Lake is just up the road from Lake One. To get to the Snowbank Lake Road, take Minnesota Highway 169 heading east out of Ely. Soon, highway becomes the Fernberg Road. A nice thing about the Fernberg is that it is paved the whole way to Lake One. For about 15 miles, stay on this road until you see a sign for Snowbank Lake. The Wilderness Bay Lodge and Smitty's on Snowbank are also accessed from this turn off. If you miss the turn, you will only be able to go about another quarter mile before you come to Lake One. The Lake One entry point is at the end of the road.

The Snowbank Lake Road out to the entry point is not paved, but it is usually in pretty good condition. It has lots of twists and turns and is not very long. It passes through forest that has seen logging activity recently.

There is a restroom at the Snowbank Lake Entry Point, but it is over by the motorboat landing. There is a sign showing the way at the entrance to the parking lot. You can park your car in an loading/unloading area very close to the lake. The launch area for your canoe is a dock.

Snowbank Lake is a big, open lake so it is not a great place to put a canoe in the water when the wind is howling. The lake is also clear and deep. The very north shore of the lake shores evidence still of the 1999 Independence Day windstorm.

Most paddlers entering on Snowbank Lake, start early in the day to avoid the wind and big rollers. Likewise, when returning in the evening, the waves and wind are usually much less imposing. It can be nasty anytime of day though, so plan for this.

There are three portages that most groups head for when setting out across Snowbank Lake. If you are heading to Disappointment Lake, there is a 130 rod portage connection. This portage is well worn and not that difficult. Another way to Disappointment Lake is by paddling over to the Parent Lake portage (near Wilderness Bay Lodge). This minimizes the time on Snowbank Lake so is a good option if the wind is blowing. It is 80 rods to Parent Lake. However, you then have to paddle across Parent Lake to another portage. The second portage, which gets you to Disappointment Lake, is 85 rods. Parent Lake is a pretty lake is has clear water. Much better place to be when the wind is up too. The last portage exit from Snowbank Lake is into Boot Lake way up in the northeast end of the lake. It will take most groups well over an hour to cover this distance. It is two portages into Boot Lake. These two portages are separated by a small pond.

Exploring the Entry Point

Entry Point 28 - Snowbank Lake in the BWCA
This is the unloading area.

BWCA Entry Point 28
The Snowbank Lake bulletin board. As the arrow shows, the restrooms are to the right. You head out to the main road and hook a left. The restrooms are at the motorboat landing and about 200 yards from here.

Snowbank Lake Entry Point in BWCA
Early evening on Snowbank Lake. The water at the end of the dock is fairly deep (5 feet maybe). Close to the shore the water is perhaps just over a foot deep. Large boulders cover the lake bottom. If you are not at all good getting into a canoe off a dock, you could zip over to the motorboat landing and slide your canoe in there..

Snowbank Lake Entry Point 28
A view of the parking area. You are looking toward the entrance to the main road while standing next to the bulletin board in the unloading area.

Taking a tour of the Snowbank Lake Entry Point. This is both Entry Point 27 and Entry Point 28.

Snowbank Lake Entry Point Photo
Near the entrance to the entry point parking lot. That sign in the distance shows the direction to the restrooms (to the left) which are by the motorboat landing.

Return to List of BWCA Entry Points (sorted by Entry Point Name or by Entry Point #)

PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
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