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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through January 7, 2011 * 1st time in Temagami route help < Previous Next >

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buzzed1
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Thursday, August 5, 2010 - 8:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Eveyone,

My wife and I are going to Temagami for the first time in a couple of weeks for about 8 days. There is so much to do and see I can't seem to make up my mind for a route.
We are considering starting at Red Squirrel and going through Ferguson Bay/Diamond/Wakimika/Obabika and finishing along Lake Temagami. I understand that this route is busy but will finding sites be a problem?
we would really like to get off the beaten path but we only have flatwater experence.
I have taken Maple Mountain of the list since water levels seem so low that it just does not seem to be worth the fight(between the 2 of us) to get there.
I am also open to any other route suggestions that people on this forum have to offer.
Thanks in advance
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 8
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Friday, August 6, 2010 - 1:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

you better watch out- you might get hooked and spend the next 20 years exploring this region like we have!
your proposed route would be an excellent introduction to what is arguably the central hub of the district as a whole.
you're right, it is a busy area; no, this route is not "off the beaten track"...
however, obviously the off-track areas involve a lot of creek and river travel and longer/rougher portages, not to mention more time.
you won't likely have problems finding campsites as there are plenty of them all along your route- from past experience i would say diamond lake could get "booked up" earlier in the day.
anyway i think it is a great choice.
the only fly in the ointment could be wind- you will spend a lot of time going up and down big lakes. both temagami and obabika can experience dangerous wind/high wave conditions- "if in doubt, stay put".
depending on your proclivities and level of experience especially with portaging, there are a few "off track" "short cuts" you could consider such as diamond-to obabika via bob lake or whitefish bay of l. temagami to anima nippissing via aston lake and thence back to red squirrel. (or start this way in reverse and come back via ferguson bay)...
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 263
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, August 6, 2010 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Good advise. I would echo that wind will be your biggest consideration. Be prepared to tuck in during rough water and paddle earlier or later in the day to make up time if need be.

As far as campsite availabily is concerned it should not be a problem. Usage will likely be up with the low water issues of other routes, but there are ample sites on Diamond, Obabika and Temagami. You have 8 days which should allow a double night lake stay over. You may want to consider 2 different sites on Diamond or Obabika to break up the big water.

Off the beaten track can be accomplished as been suggested by exploring Bob Lake. But as much as this route has been beaten it is still rough and arduous.

As a final word of advise, the paddle out of Obabika Inlet back to the Mine Landing or return to Sandy Bay is long day (if the winds are with you). Take the Devil Bay Portage and save some of the big waves for later, say Ferguson Mountain, It gets choppy there.
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dergon_darkhelm
Member

Post Number: 53
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Friday, August 6, 2010 - 9:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I like alsool's recommendation. The little mini-bypass around Wakimiaka to Obabika through Bob will make you fell like you've trekked wild country .

You have a fine firts time route. We done it many time as prts of others or as a whole over the last 20 years...you won't be disappointed.

2 weeks is late August and crowds will be down a bit....but you'll still bump into some folks. It is generally sound advice to schedule yourself to get into camp early rather than late if you start noticing a lot of people camping.

Enjoy!
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buzzed1
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Monday, August 9, 2010 - 1:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for the advice everyone.

Portaging is not an issuse for us. We have been through Algonquin and Killarney a few times. Having said that I would prefer to paddle then to walk but if I must walk then so be it.

How difficult is the the Lady Evelyn river to paddle? From the maps that I have seen mos of it has portages around the rapids. We are thinking about adding this as a loop on our trip. How long does it take to go up the north channel and down the south channel?

I was looking at the devil bay portage as an option if the need came up.
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dergon_darkhelm
Member

Post Number: 54
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Monday, August 9, 2010 - 6:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

It generally takes us a day (old men who wake up late, hungover, and achy and don't trek too long kind of day)to get from SHangri-La (just up from Katherine L. at the N/S LE divide) and out to the bottom of either branch and a few miles to a good campsite.

I would give a day up the North channel with an overnight camp, then another day down.

There is some minimal rapid running, but someone who has been on this season might comment on current water levels....you might be lining or walking more.

Other than that the paddling is easy.

Do you have Hap's new book? He has the layout of every rapid and the proper technical canoeing approach all laid in out in easily readable schematics.
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awills
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Monday, August 9, 2010 - 10:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I just got back from a trip that included going up the North Channel of Lady Evelyn and down the South Channel - it was beautiful, but pretty slow going. Long portions of the river are too shallow to paddle
and we lined, waded, and portaged (most of which was over big boulder/rubble/rocks that would typically be under water) most of both days. We spent a lot of time trying not to sprain our ankles while portaging along side the river in places like this:
It was worth the work, in my opinion but I would guess that some might not agree.

It didn't take long to get from Sucker Gut up to Centre Falls, where we stayed the first night, but from Centre Falls to Katherine Lake, then back down the South Channel to Fat Man's Falls took us one pretty long hard day, then a relatively short portage and paddle out of the south channel the next morning to the big long portage (2420m - 4096m, depending on the map) into Diamond Lake. After the rock hopping and cliff scaling of the day before, the long portage was actually a relief - just your run-of-the-mill dry, flat, path through the woods.

We also went through Walsh Lake, Tucker, Lynx, and others in the area between Lady Evelyn and Anima Nipissing, as someone on this site recommended, and it was fantastic. We didn't see anyone for two days, and the lakes and skies were beautiful.

(I'll post a full trip report soon...)
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 11
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 1:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

my 2 cents on the lady evelyn: having been up and down both branches a number of times i would stress that these really are difficult portages- not nearly as long as many in algonquin but very rugged, often with an extreme climb/descent. the previous poster has it right: "cliff scaling and rock hopping"!
i need hardly add that wet, rainy conditions make these cliffs and rocks that much more dangerous!!! i have met more than one injured tripper on these routes- one with a broken leg at katherine lake (with a group, luckily!) just be careful and take it slow.
here is a tip: the first time i did the south lady evelyn (wet conditions) i was wearing leather hiking boots with thick, stiff soles and it was harrowing- slippery and no feel for the ground. next time i wised up and wore converse-type ankle-high running shoes with sticky rubber soles: a huge improvement... in my opinion these are also by far the best shoes for lining the canoe.
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preacher
Member

Post Number: 159
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 11:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Heh, yeah on the ports. One of them is 10 feet straight up. No joke. Brideveil Falls? The 2nd falls up from Sucker Gut.

Also, at the top of Frank be sure to hold on to the canoe. Upstream paddler in first when pushing off, out first when unloading.
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 265
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 8:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I think you are referring to Center Falls, now the gang-way has been removed it a near vertical obstacle. Still if your strong you should be able to 'lob' the gear up and over.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 12
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 4:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

actually i think preacher means 2nd falls up from willow island on the south branch which is indeed bridal veil and does start with a climb up smooth bedrock at about a 75 degree angle. it looks impossible at first but there is in fact a zigzag path about 5 inches wide that goes up (or down) it. the first time i did it (going down) i didn't see this and resorted to "canoe skiing" down the last 10 feet- not recommended!
on the subject of center falls, i always thought the gangway thing was a bit over the top and detracted from the natural beauty of the portage, though i admit it did make it easier. i hope they took away all that pressure-treated lumber... if there's really an impassable step up someone should build a simple set of log stairs- four or five steps should do it i would think. on the other hand if the step up is at all doable it should be left as is in my opinion. after all none of these portages are exactly "up to code"!
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buzzed1
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks everyone for all of your input.

I think we are just going to stay on the main lake for this trip.

The river trips will have to wait for another year when there is more water.

We are both looking forward to the trip and I will let you know how it goes.

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