Closest Access Point: Basin Lake (Access Point # 19)
Distance To Access Point: 0 KM (You’re already there!)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy.
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: June, 2021
This site is about a 100 meter walk through the woods from the parking lot. It is also, in my opinion, the second best site you can get on Basin. Why? Well, it’s a combination of weak competition and this being a genuinely decent site that, if it weren’t within spitting distance of a parking lot, would probably be a reasonable destination on any backcountry lake.
Terrain: This is wide, flat site. It’s dotted by tall pines that provide plenty of room for hanging lines and hammocks, but don’t make the site feel crowded. The ground is mostly pine needles (funny how that happens on a site dominated by pine trees) and is pretty much free of obstacles. No rocks or roots to speak of. The site is up a small rise from the lake, so there is a slope to get from the canoe landing to the site, but it’s only about ten feet and is not difficult to navigate.
Canoe Landing: There’s a small break in what is otherwise a fairly overgrown shoreline to the south of the site. It’s not the best landing. The shore breaks off in a fairly clean cut, meaning you can’t really beach the canoe anywhere. You just ram it against the shore as best you can then try and make your way forward before your momentum pushes it back out into the water. Not that this is a huge problem. If you’re staying here you’re most likely loading/unloading directly from your car, so you don’t have to worry so much about getting gear in and out of your boat.
Fire Pit: When I was there it was less a fire pit than it was a fire wall. The stones were shaped in a half moon shape facing the water, and that was about it. It’s a nicely situated pit: right in the middle of the site. It’s got an obstructed view of the water, so mostly you’ll be focusing on your marshmallows.
Swimability: I swam here, but didn’t love it. The best spot to wade in was the canoe landing. The underwater terrain here is some sand, lots of muck. Still, a swim is a swim. As long as I’m not wading through weeds, I’m happy.
Tent Sites: This entire site is a tent spot. Lots of space, lots of flat ground. I took an aerial tent and had plenty of spaces to string it up as well.
Thunderbox: The thunderbox is just off the path in between the parking lot and the site. It’s in pretty good shape, and despite being relatively close to the lot, the site and the path, feels private enough.
Accessories: There’s a decent counter built between a couple of trees. That’s about it. I don’t even think there were any log benches to speak of.
Views: There are quite a few trees in between the site and the water. This doesn’t mean you can’t see the water, just that the views are semi-obstructed in most spots. There is a nice window looking north down basin, but otherwise you’re not staying here for the view.
Notes: I liked this site. I also really liked the convenience of having my car nearby. I can see why car camping appeals to people. I got bored at about 4 o’clock and decided to take a drive further down Basin Lake Road to pass some time. You can’t do that if you’re in the middle of Big Trout. (You decide if that’s a feature or a drawback).