This Boundary Waters canoe route starts at Cross Bay and will take you through wetlands, old growth pine forest, and down the winding Frost River with its grassy banks and beautiful rapids. This challenging BWCA route offers a remote feel and good wildlife viewing opportunities. The Frost River flows from east to west and typically should be done in that direction. It is best to take this route when the water is high due to beaver activity, typically in May or June. We also recommend lightweight aluminum canoes for this route due to rocky conditions.
US Forest Service entry permit needed – #50 Cross Bay Lake – or – #51 Missing Link Lake
Maps for this route –
Fisher Maps – F12
McKenzie Maps – 7
(Route lines are an approximation and should not be used for navigation.)
The Frost River Loop Route starts at the Cross Bay Lake entry point just 300 yards up our driveway on the Cross Creek
- Portage 50 rods into a small lake
- Portage 40 rods into Ham Lake – this lake has 4 campsites and is great for walleye
- Portage 24 rods into Cross Bay Lake – this portage has been moved and is often wrong on maps. Be sure to stop in the office so we can mark it correctly on your map. Cross Bay Lake is typically home to at least one moose every year. It has 2 campsites it is a great lake to stop and fish for walleye, northern, and bass.
- Portage 56 rods into Rib Lake – 1 campsite
- Portage 37 rods into Lower George Lake
- Portage 28 rods into Karl Lake – 1 campsite
- Paddle or portage into Long Island lake – with 15 campsites, this beautiful destination lake is a great place to spend some time. It is home to lake trout and northern pike.
- Portage 5 rods to Long Island River – watch for beaver dams in this area.
- Portage 28 rods into Gordon Lake – 1 campsite
- Portage 140 rods into Frost Lake – features 5 campsites and two sand beaches.
- Portage 130 rods and then 15 rods into Octopus Lake – Enjoy the water lilies and marshes.
- Portage 25 rods, 20 rods, and 30 rods along the Frost River into Chase Lake. Watch for beaver dams as you travel along the Frost and portage over them if necessary.
- Portage 10 rods into Pencil Lake
- Portage 50 rods to the Frost River – A spur trail to the right offers a closer look at the rapids.
- Take four 5 to 15 rod portages at rapids along the Frost River
- Portage 20 rods into Afton Lake – 1 campsite
- Portage 20 rods into Fente Lake
- Portage 15 rods into Whipped Lake – 1 campsite.
- Portage 100 rods into Mora Lake – 3 campsites
- Portage 15 rods into Tarry Lake
- Portage 50 rods into Crooked Lake – 6 campsites. Beautiful rocky shoreline.
- Portage 55 rods into Owl Lake
- Portage 63 rods into Tuscarora Lake – There are 10 campsites on this great destination lake, which is surrounded by gentle green hills and is good for lake trout fishing.
- Portage 428 rods into Missing Link Lake – This designated trout lake has 3 campsites.
- Portage 142 rods into Round Lake – We’ll be here to greet you at Tuscarora!
Fishing on the Frost River Canoe Route
|Lake||Fish Species||Maximum Depth||Notes|
|Ham||Burbot, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye||40 ft|
|Cross Bay||Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye||10 ft|
|Karl||Burbot, Lake Trout, Northern Pike||70 ft|
|Long Island||Burbot, Lake Trout, Northern Pike||85 ft|
|Gordon||Lake Trout, Northern Pike||95 ft|
|Frost||Burbot, Lake Trout, Northern Pike||88 ft|
|Frost River||Northern Pike|
|Mora||Northern Pike||40 ft|
|Crooked||Burbot, Lake Trout, Northern Pike||66 ft|
|Owl||Burbot, Lake Trout||70 ft|
|Tuscarora||Burbot, Lake Trout, Northern Pike||130 ft|
|Missing Link||Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout||25 ft||Designated trout lake|