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Namakan Lake - Voyageurs National Park

Saturday, July 29, 2023 to Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Ash River Visitors Center
9899 Mead Wood Rd
Orr, MN  55771
Additional Info:
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Join us on Lake Namakan in Voyageurs National Park July 29 - August 1st. We have the Namakan Island Northeast site (N55) for 3 beautiful remote nights in the wilderness with plenty of time to explore the many interesting and historical sites of Namakan Lake. From this site we will have access to more great day trips than we will have days to do them all. Historic Hoist Bay and I.W. Stevens Pine Cove Resort along with the hidden abandoned gold mine on Mica island are just a few of our choices. We will discuss and plan the day trips when we get to camp and each morning before launching.  This site faces east so there should be some fantastic sunrises. The moon will be waxing gibbous with 90+% illumination so we should have some beautiful moon rises too. Namakan Island is a large island and there's overgrown trails around and crisscrossing the island so if you enjoy hiking and exploring pack a good pair of hiking shoes. If you enjoy fishing and want to experience the world class fishing VNP has to offer, I know of a few HOT spots very close to the campsite. The small cove the campsite is on has some good shore fishing. Casting for walleye, northern or small mouth bass while watching the moon rise over Canada and reflect off Namakan lake is a great way to end a day in your boat. Many nights you can hear the Wiyapka and Sand Point wolf packs howling at each other.

We will launch from the Ash River boat launch at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday the 29th, returning early afternoon of Tuesday the 1st. (In case of weather conditions preventing a safe return on Tuesday, we’ll stay over. Pack an extra day of food.). The campsite is about 8 miles from the launch so we will have time to stop for a break along the way. You’ll want to get up to the area Friday evening to be at Ash River by 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Launch time is 10:00 a.m. This is fishing season so the parking lots can fill up carpooling is a option.


A full trip will have 8 paddlers. We have 4 tent pads. Each can accommodate 2 2-person tents.
 If the trip fills, let me know if you want to be on a 'wait list'.


This is the perfect trip if you’re somewhat new to kayak touring and camping. We’ll have a pre-trip meeting and paddle to make sure everyone feels prepared and excited about our adventure together. Expect a weekend morning paddle on Minnetonka to be scheduled when the trip fills. You’ll get to pack your kayak and paddle it loaded on this practice run, while getting to know your trip mates.
  • What food should I pack?
  • What gear do I need?
  • How do I pack a kayak?
  • What if it rains?
  • What about mosquitoes? And the wood ticks?
I strongly encourage you bring a Voyageurs NP National Geographic Map (the #264 & 410 combination) along with a waterproof map case. It’s fun to figure out where we are, where we want to go, and how many miles we’re logging.


Expected conditions for this trip are ISK Level II.

Winds <14 mph, scattered whitecaps, waves up to 2'.

Total distance each day up to 11 miles.



  • Wet suit or dry suit for cold water conditions*
  • Wet exit & T rescue 
  • Ability to paddle ~3mph
  • Ability to paddle up to 12 miles in a day 
  • Ability to paddle in wind and waves
  • Ability to cool weather camp (average low 55°)*
  • Ability to paddle kayak loaded with 4 days worth of camping gear


*Weather in July could be surprisingly hot, but that far north you must be prepared for cold water and cool weather.

We follow Leave-No-Trace principles, with a particular focus on "Pack in, Pack out".

Cancellations are only allowed up to July 1st. After that you will be responsible for selling your spot to another member. Contact me.

Questions? Email Greg,