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Pukaskwa: 160kms Around the Outside via Foot & Raft
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Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Pukaskwa: 160kms Around the Outside via Foot & Raft on 01/06/2014 19:00:02 MST Print View

Missed this the first time around too. Impressive. I'm starting to think outside of mountains for wilderness trips, and I'm loving the creativity and drive you guys put in on this one.

Fueling the juices for the coming year. Much appreciated on every level.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Pukaskwa on 01/08/2014 17:46:03 MST Print View

Thanks guys. It's fun looking back at the pictures. Definitely a memorable trip.

Dana Sherry
(dsherry) - M

Locale: Southwest
trip on 02/12/2014 06:11:56 MST Print View

Agreed- sweet report. Could inspire me to purchase a packraft. There are adventures to be had with them. I've kayaked the shore and hiked the trail, would be excellent to link the 2 trips together and finally bag the Pukaskwa river as well.
I am in Marquette if you have future trips in mind.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Pukaskwa: Around the Outside via Foot & Raft on 02/15/2014 08:05:39 MST Print View

Bbrrrrr…definitely a trip report I prefer to read than write, and I suspect that "type 2 trip" comment someone made was close to the mark.

Jeff McWilliams
(jjmcwill) - M

Locale: Midwest
Trails on 03/13/2014 07:21:04 MDT Print View

What a trip report! Thanks for posting.

I'm planning a yo-yo trip for this year with a small group of friends of varying skills levels.

I was a bit surprised to read that you covered the 30.5KM from Oiseau Bay to Hattie Cove in a single day. Are the recommended daily hiking distances in the visitor's guide THAT CONSERVATIVE? It contains lots of warnings about how rugged the trail can be.


rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/13/2014 08:34:23 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 04/02/2014 05:44:05 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Pukaskwa Coastal Trail on 03/13/2014 11:19:11 MDT Print View


We left Oiseau Bay around 9am and then we got into Hattie Cove around 7pm. So that's 10 hours and we were stopped for at least an hour for lunch b/c we got a bit mixed up on the beach and couldn't find the actual trail again. So I'd say we spent 9 hours covering that distance for a moving average of 3.4km/hr. We put in a good effort on the trail and a decently long day. It wasn't a gruelling pace, but I don't think this section would be enjoyable at much of a faster speed. Travelling at 2/3rds of this pace (2.3km/hr moving average) would probably be an enjoyable speed for a decently in shape hiker, and then you can decide how many hours per day you want to walk. This is actually pretty close to what Pukaskwa recommends (they say 14.5 hrs to Oiseau Bay, which is 2.1km/hr). In person the rangers seem to be pretty discouraging of optimistic goals, but the Pukaskwa website actually recommends 5 hrs to Willow River, which is how long Rog took, so my suggestion is to take the hour estimates at the link below at pretty close to face value. Don't assume to be substantially faster unless you're packing light and willing to work for it. Longer hours (rather than a faster speed) are a more realistic way to cover more ground.

The "ruggedness" of the trails is a very relative thing. Pukaskwa's trails aren't treacherous in the sense that you aren't likely to slip and go over a cliff (well maybe if it's raining, but it's less sketchy than half dome). They are, however, slower walking that more manicured areas. You need to pay attention to cairns when you're on the bedrock sections and there's a lot of small up and downs. On really nice, low gradient manicured trail (such as many National Parks in the USA) one can walk about 50% faster than they do in Pukaskwa.

With all that said, people, weather and experiences vary widely so don't take my word for any of this. If you talked to this guy you'd get the opposite message:

We were going to stop at the White River, but we got talking about burgers, beers and a hotel so we pushed on to Hattie Cove. We did cover a lot of ground in this trip in a relatively short period of time, mostly because my wife (and work) would only give me the week off. I would have loved more time - especially on the river portion. There were so many awesome areas that would be great to stop and fish, suntan or run rapids. Then again, we got very lucky with the bugs. In peak bug season those activities would lose their appeal.

Edited by dandydan on 03/13/2014 11:38:15 MDT.

bayden cline
(pyro_) - F

Locale: Ontario Canada
Thanks for the info on 04/06/2014 10:59:16 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info. I am considering doing the trail this summer and having the info you provided is great

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
wow on 04/06/2014 21:52:27 MDT Print View

Dude, that looks like a crazy trip. Some serious dedication right there.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Pukaskwa Coastal Trail on 07/31/2014 18:11:00 MDT Print View

This trip is epic, good job guys! I really should get one of those packrafts...

I read this after you posted earlier this year and saw you did the trail in 2 days - essentially 30 km per day. I just finished the trail in 3 days and can confirm that Dan's itinerary would be a push for non-super humans ;) I did the following and while it was a good workout, it allowed for a decent pace without pushing too hard. If you are carrying heavy or aren't used to 20km days, add another day and enjoy the scenery!

I'll have a video up in the next few days but here were my days:
North Swallow/Fishermans Cove (22km)
Fishermans Cove/Willow River (22 km)
Willow River/Hattie Cove (16 km)

Also, I'm ashamed to say I took the water taxi :(

@ Eric Batty: Pretty sure I met your friends Rob and Jody on the trail. They did a yoyo (out and back) in 4 days/3 nights - we shared a campfire on the last night, I tried to keep pace with them in the morning on the last day but they were too quick - even their little dog was a bullet on the trail!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 08/01/2014 10:57:00 MDT.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 07/31/2014 20:38:08 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 09/22/2014 20:54:49 MDT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Pukaskwa: 160kms Around the Outside via Foot & Raft on 08/01/2014 10:55:38 MDT Print View

Haha, that little dog was a trooper. I'm surprised I didn't see you. I felt like I met everyone on the trail - probably the most social hiking I have ever done!


rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 08/01/2014 15:06:20 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 09/22/2014 20:56:47 MDT.