Just the Paddle: Wendigo > North Depot > Clamshell > Radiant
As always, for those who just want to check in on paddle routes and time without the extra honeymoon fluff I am capturing a nothing pretty, "just the paddle" blog.
Backcountry Honeymoon: Access point 25: Wendigo > North Depot > Clamshell >Radiant *
August 5th-9th, 2020 - in & out trip
* lakes/rivers we did not stay on are omitted
Trip Length: 5 days Total Portages: 16
Day 1, Access Point 25 Wendigo Lake > Allan Lake > North Depot
Start time 12:41 PM End time 3:27 PM Total Time: 2h40 min
Launch at Wendigo Lake, stay left for portage into Allan Lake. Portage is 180M but elevated and rocky/rooty. Allan Lake is a relatively short paddle and you're on the portage into North Depot which by foot is 255m but it can also be skipped which Martin decided on while I hunkered through more elevation, rocks and roots. North Depot feels like it stretches on forever - we passed by the first island which has two sites but opted for the private island further down the lake.
Day 2, North Depot > North River > Clamshell > Shoal > Radiant Lake
Start time 12:12 PM End time 5:27 PM Total Time: 5h14 min
The first portage from North Depot into the North River is a BRUTAL 770m of elevation, rocks, more elevation, and up&down and up & down with a culmination into a rocky launch point which is cut through by river - prepare for a balancing act OR get your feet wet trying. Before you know it you're at the next portage into North River South. This 390m portage (signed as 230m - lies & slander) was something else. We got on, followed the "path" launched and realized we were caught between rapids and bog. Discovering our misstep, the "path" we took had clearly been made by people setting out to enjoy the rapid falls but it was not the signed portage path. Don't make this mistake! Then you're onto ANOTHER PORTAGE! This 230m portage to continue on the North River was another back and ankle breaker with up and down elevation, but at least it was only 230. The portage into Clamshell Lake was 330m (signed 235m) and just like the rest of them brutal elevation and rockiness. Paddled quickly through Clamshell to BOOM another portage into Shoal lake, this one was short at least, 135m. Paddled through the very reedy Shoal and thought we could maybe avoid the 20m portage at Sandy Bay but with the rocks the way they were, we had to unload and reload.
We ended up with a nice site on Radiant Lake with a small private beach, not quite as nice as the "5 star resort" I've also marked off on the map below.
Day 3, Radiant + short paddle to Squirrel Rapids (1hr)
We stayed on Radiant for 2 nights so one day we did a quick jaunt paddle to check out Squirrel Rapids, and though the views were epic probably wouldn't reserve the site as it was right on a portage path. The bridge along the way made for some great pictures though! At a leisurely paddle this took as 1 hr there and back to our site.
Day 4, Radiant Lake > Shoal > Clamshell Lake
Start time 12:10 PM End time 1:50 PM Total Time: 1h40 min
No commentary here except we found a way to avoid the 20m portage between Radiant and Shoal this time, just PADDLE REAL HARD & bum scooch. && Clamshell Lake is a total gem with only one campsite, a swing, and complete privacy.
Day 5, Clamshell > North River > North Depot > Allan Lake > Wendigo Lake
Start time 7:30 AM End Time 12:00 PM Total Time: 4h30 min
Again I've highlighted these portages on the way in so won't go into detail except the elevation and rockiness of these sites is made MUCH WORSE in the rain - slippery af. The portages from North Depot into Allan and Allan into Wendigo can get quite busy on the weekend as they are easier weekend trips, just a note for loading and unloading.
As always, our route is marked with brown paddles and our campsites with yellow tents!