The crowds from my experience are a pandemic era phenomenon. And the author is just trying to make a living after all. There's lots of "best route" articles but just for the heck of it, since I started playing with ChatGPT yesterday (ain't retirement grand?) I asked what are the best routes in the bwcaw? I'll add that answer in a minute.
Me, I pick an entry point, sometimes on my way driving to BWCAW, and have a first day in mind. Take a lot of maps, and decide each evening which direction tomorrow. That's my best route.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) offers a vast network of lakes and waterways, with many possible routes to choose from. The best route for you will depend on your skill level, interests, and the amount of time you have available. Here are a few popular routes that offer a great mix of scenery, wildlife, and paddling challenges:
The Classic Loop: This is the most popular route in the BWCAW, and for good reason. It takes you through a variety of lakes and rivers, offering stunning views and challenging portages. The loop typically starts and ends at Sawbill Lake, covering a distance of around 50 miles.
The Gunflint Trail: This route follows the Gunflint Trail from Gunflint Lake to Saganaga Lake. It offers a mix of challenging and easy paddling, with plenty of opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.
The Granite River Loop: This route takes you through some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the BWCAW. It starts and ends at Sawbill Lake, and covers around 45 miles. You'll paddle down the Kawishiwi River and into the wilderness, passing through a series of lakes and rapids along the way.
The Snowbank Lake Loop: This route is ideal for those who want a shorter trip (around 20 miles) but still want to experience the best of the BWCAW. It starts and ends at Snowbank Lake, and takes you through a series of smaller lakes and rivers with some challenging portages.
These are just a few of the many possible routes in the BWCAW. It's always a good idea to research your options and talk to experienced paddlers or outfitters to find the best route for your skill level and interests.