Lake Temagami / Red Cedar / Jumping Caribou Loop

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Steven MOU
Trip Date : 
August 18, 2018
Additional Route Information
98 km
6 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
6000 m
Longest Portage: 
840 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Access to Put-In Information: 

Take HWY 11 to Lake Temagami Access Rd in Temagami.  GBS location:  46.961601, -80.018494

Technical Guide: 

Starting from Central Lake Access Point

South on Lake Temagami (50m portage)

East through Outlet Bay

South on Cross Lake

South through Upper Temagami River

Portages:  430m, 560m, 160m, 510m, 160m,  Rapids:  C-I, C-II, C-II, C-III, C-I, C-I

East then north on Red Cedar Lake

Portage to Hangstone Lake: 820m (May bypass by wading against the creek)

Portage to Norris Lake:  360m

Portage to Mann Lake:  340m

Portage to Twinsister Lakes:  790m + 50m

Portage to Jumping Caribou Lake:  840m

Ingall Lake

Wawa Lake

Portage 100m + 60m to Brophy Lake

Portage 600m to Greenlaw Lake

Portage 100m + 60m to Wasaksina Lake

Portage 130m to Denedus Lake

Portage 410m to Olier Lake

Portage 440m to Shiningwood Bay

Back to Central Lake Access Point



Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Due to forest fires and park closure, we changed our plan and decided to do the Lake Temagami / Red Cedar / Jumping Caribou Lake route. This is a 98km loop with 20 totalling 6km portages, longest 840m. It offers a combination of river and lake travelling, with several CI - CIII rapids on Temagami River and a mix of large and small lakes along the route.

There was a group of nine people and two dogs. Fire ban was in effect throughout the trip.

Saturday, August 18

Sunny. At 11:00am, most of us met at a Tim Hortons in Huntsville. It took about another two a half hours to drive to Central Lake Access Point. However due to an incident during lunch break (I accidentally locked my key in the car and had to wait for CAA to unlock), we did not arrive the access point until 5pm when we met the rest of the group, and started to unload and launched ourselves. The first night, we camped at a little island on Lake Temagami, less than one hour paddle southwest of the access point.

Sunday, August 19

Another sunny day. We started a little after 9:30am and paddled south on Lake Temagami. There was only one 50m portage before we stopped for lunch on Outlet Bay at around 1:30pm. The campsites there didn’t seem to be good enough to hold the entire group so we decided to move on. We arrived at Cross Lake at around 3:30pm and picked a very nice island campsite for the night. Lots of time to relax and enjoy the sunshine for the rest of the day.

Monday, August 20

It was going to be a long day because we were going to paddle through Temagami River. We started a bit after 9:00am. By the time we arrived at the dam at the beginning of the river, it was about 11:00am. There was a C-I rapid right at the dam, followed by a couple of C-II then a C-III rapid. In the end there was a couple of swift water (on the map they were marked as C-I rapids as well). We had lunch at the dam and ran some of the rapids after carefully scouting them. We finished the rapids at around 6:30pm and arrived at the campsite on Red Cedar Lake at 8:00pm (that was the only campsite that was not on the island during the trip). It was getting dark. We quickly set up the bear hang and unloaded the rest of the stuffs. Most of us were tired and went to sleep soon after dinner.

Tuesday, August 21

Our luck of good weather temporarily came to an end in the morning.  It was cloudy.  We started at 10:30am paddling north.  We stopped at around 1:00pm for lunch at a very nice campsite on the north end of Red Cedar Lake.  After another 1.5km paddle, we arrived at the 820m portage leading to Hangstone Lake.  But instead of doing the portage, we decided to wade through the creek beside it.  It turned out not any easier than the portage itself but it was quite a different experience.  Soon after the portage, it started to drizzle and continued to rain for the rest of the day, and the wind was picking up.  There were two campsites on Hangstone Lake.  We took the one on an island which had good reviews but we found broken glasses there.  It was about 4:30pm when we arrived at the site.  We did not stay very late that night because of the rain, and it was pouring after mid-night with strong wind.

Wednesday, Aug. 22

The weather calmed down in the morning.  Many of us got up late so we did not start until 10:30am.  The first portage of the day was 360m to Norris Lake.  We had to paddle inside a creek, pass a couple of beaver dams until it was too rocky to move any further.  Then we found the portage entrance.  The 2nd portage was a 340m one from Morris Lake to Mann Lake where we had our lunch on a nice little island.  After lunch there was a 790m portage to Twinsister Lakes.  There was a cross road at the beginning of portage and it took us quite some time to figure out the right direction.  A couple of us simply tried the creek nearby (which was passable only during spring time according to a book by Hap Wilson) and they did it.  The Twinsister Lakes were two small lakes separated by a 50m short but steep portage.  The last portage was 840m to Jumping Caribou Lake.  We paddled through a creek and were supposed to find a dam where the portage started.  But we did not find the dam.  Instead we went as far as we could up the creek and found the portage there.   The end of the portage was confusing too.  We managed to find the correct put in with the instruction from Hap Wilson’s book.

3:30pm, we arrived at the campsite on Jumping Caribou Lake.  It was a beautiful island.

Thursday, Aug. 23

Sunny and we started at 9:30am.  There was a series of small lakes and short portages before we stopped for lunch at the far end of Brophy Lake at 1:30pm.  It seems to be a short and easy day but things turned after lunch.  After the 600m rugged portage, we arrived at Greenlaw Lake.  There was only a 100m + 60m portage before our destination of the day – Wasaksina Lake, but there was a bog which made the portage the hardest one during the entire trip.  The end of the portage was all of wet mud that one would sink if going any further but still far away from the water to put the canoes.  It took us quite some time to figure out a plan and carefully carried it out.  By the time we arrived at Wasaksina Lake, it was 5:00pm.  It was windy and wavy on the lake.  We camped on an island for the night with great view of sunset.

Friday, Aug. 24

We had one extra day to spare so we stayed on Wasaksina Lake for two nights.  Some of us decided to do a day trip toward Iceland Lake and the rest just hung around on the island.  Nice day in the morning but the wind started to pick up again after lunch and became quite strong with big waves on the lake.  Nevertheless, a quite relaxing day for everyone.

Saturday, Aug. 25

It was the last day of the trip.  Since most of us need to drive home, we decided to leave early in the morning.  There were 130m, 410m and 440m portage to Shiningwood Bay before heading back to Central Lake Access Point.  After multi-day trip and most of our food was gone, we found the most efficiency and everything was completed very quickly.  By the time we arrived at the starting point, it was only 1:30pm.  It was time to say goodbye.  Handshakes and hugs.  Lots of memories for the days to come.

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
31L/12, 31L/13, 41I/9 and 41I/16
Other Maps: 
Temagami Canoe Routes Planning Map, published by MNR


Post date: Fri, 11/16/2018 - 02:31


Amazing route!
download showbox for PC