BWCA Entry Point 19 - Stuart River
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Entry Point: Stuart River #19 Last Visited: September 27, 2020;
Previous Visit(s): September 4, 2016
Maps: Fisher F-9; McKenzie #12 Daily Quota: 1
Fire History:
Nearest Ranger Station: Kawishiwi Ranger Station, Ely, MN on MN Hwy. 1
Portage Length from Parking Lot: 450 rods Restroom at Entry Point: No. But there is one across the road at the Big Lake Entry Point landing

BWCA Entry Point 19 - Stuart River

Kawishiwi Ranger District

The Stuart River Entry Point is located on the north side of the Echo Trail just across the road from the Big Lake entry point access.

Coming from Ely, Minnesota, head east on West Sheridan Street 1.2 miles to North Central Avenue. Continue onto Highway 169 for 1 mile until you reach Grant McMahan Boulevard. Take a left and drive 2.3 miles to Ely-Buycks Road (aka Echo Trail). Take a right onto the Echo Trail. Drive another 17.7 miles until you come to the sign that says Stuart River. It's about a 45 minute drive and about 23 miles in total. BWCA Entry Point 7 - Big Lake is just a bit further down the Echo Trail.

To get to the Stuart River from the parking lot you have to portage 480 rods. This is one and a half miles. So you want to consider how much gear you are taking with you on this trip. Once over this long portage you will have the Stuart River mostly to yourself. Route options don't open up until you get to Stuart Lake, from which you can choose to head off in several directions.

If you are portaging from Big Lake, it is 80 rods from the shore of Big Lake across the road to the start of the Stuart Lake portage. Just portage up the road. Since the Stuart River entry point only has a quota of one, expect to have the river mostly to yourself.

There are no campsites along the Stuart River (unless you have a permit to camp in the Sundial Lake Primitive Management Area). There is an old campsite on White Feather Lake, but you need the PMA permit to overnight there. You can ask for this permit when you get your regular BWCA permit. Therefore, you must make it all the way to Stuart Lake before there are campsites available. So, start your trip early enough in the day.

Exploring the Entry Point

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Stuart River 1
The sign along the Echo Trail indicating your arrival at the Stuart River entry point (September 2020).
Stuart River 2
Same view as above, but a few years ago in a different season (April 2016).

Stuart River Entry Point 3
The parking area is a roundabout.

Stuart River Entry Point 4
This entry point has a fairly small parking area as the quota for this entry point is only one party per day (April 2016).

Stuart River Entry Point 5
The parking lot from another angle (September 2020).

A quick look around the Stuart River Entry Point. (See this portage in both directions here.)

Stuart River Entry Point 7
The bulletin board. The start of the portage to the Stuart River is just out of view to the signs left (September 2020).
Stuart River Entry Point 6
This is where the "fun" begins. This is the start of the 450 rod portage down to the Stuart River -- just left of the sign. (Note: The sign shown here has been replaced with the one shown in the image above.) It is not a difficult portage, but it is a long one (about 1 1/3rd miles).

Stuart River Entry Point 8
The bulletin board which is just to the right of the start of the Stuart River portage (September 2020).
Stuart River Entry Point 9
Old version of the bulletin board (April 2016).

Stuart River Entry Point 10
After proceeding down the portage a ways, you will pass this sign. This is the official border line where you officially enter the BWCA. The true entry point.

A pretty straightforward portage. A couple of small creek crossings. Downhill for the most part in this direction.

Stuart River Entry Point 20
When you finally clear the forest, the river is before you framed by these two old snags.

Now that you've reached the bank of the river, visit the: STUART RIVER

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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