Boundary Waters Spring 2016 Ice Conditions on the Gunflint Trail

If you’d asked us six weeks ago, we’d have told you it looked like an early ice out year for sure, but here it is, April 21, and we’re still iced in on the Gunflint Trail. Despite warm weather and open water in the rest of the state, it’s not paddling season quite yet. But soon . . . very soon . . .

Round Lake Tuscarora Lodge Spring Ice 2016

Round Lake – April 20, 2016

Local lore is that Gunflint Lake’s ice goes out two weeks after the North Brule River’s ice goes out. North Brule was ice free on April 15, which makes April 29 the day Gunflint should go out this year. That said, it looks like the western part of the lake may be ice free before that.

Gunflint Lake Public Landing Ice Spring 2016

Gunflint Lake – April 21, 2016

You just might be able to paddle into the Boundary Water’s Larch Lake via Larch Creek. Of course, you might find yourself facing a big iceberg when you reach the lake.

Larch Creek Boundary Waters Entry Point Spring 2016

Larch Creek – April 21, 2016

Both Seagull and Saganaga Lakes have pulled away from their shores significantly, but a lot of melting that needs to happen before they’re ice free.

Seagull Lake Blankenburg Landing Ice Out Spring 2016

Seagull Lake – April 21, 2016

Saganaga Corridor Ice April 2016

Saganaga Lake – April 21, 2016

Meanwhile, Cross Bay is looking pretty liquid and you could probably make it to the first campsite on Ham Lake.

Cross Bay Lake BWCA entry point spring 2016 high water

The high water washed away the beaver dam that was built last fall.
Beaver Dam Explosion on Cross River Gunflint Trail

The river’s really churning away right now. It’s a pretty incredible sight.
High water Cross River Rapids Spring 2016


Until we’re ice free, we’re going to party like it’s 1999 . . . .

1 Response

  1. john jacobsen says:

    Thanks for the picts and updates. Always interesting to hear.