Closest Access Point: Opeongo (Access # 11) Note, the Shall Lake access (#17) is almost as close in terms of distance, but requires significantly more portaging.
Distance to Access Point: 25K (1-2 days depending on if you are using a water taxi)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Medium. Longest official portage in the Park is between Dickson and Opeongo.
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date Visited: September 2022
(Update! An alert reader has pointed out to me that I may not have been on the actual site that qualifies as Dickson Lake, site 1. Apparently there’s a second site just off the portage that is the actual site, whereas the site I saw is just an emergency site. I’m leaving this review up for now, but be aware that there is apparently another site very close to this one (the map only shows one site total)).
I didn’t take many pictures of this site because, quite frankly, there isn’t much to take pictures of. This site doubles as the start (or end!) of the Bonfield-Dickson portage. Basically, someone has put a fire pit and a couple of benches off to the side, slapped a campsite sign on a nearby tree and called it a day. The site occupies a clearing about 20 feet up from the Dickson Lake put-in. It’s a relatively flat, open space, with room for a couple of tents. That said, you’re going to have people wandering through your site at all hours as there is absolutely no separation between the portage and the site. To me, this site exists as an emergency site. Maybe the portage took you much longer than you expected and you’re arriving at Dickson with 20 minutes of daylight left. Or maybe you need a very early start going the other way and you want to save yourself the paddle on Dickson. Those are pretty much the only reasons I’d pick this spot. Otherwise, literally any other campsite on Dickson is better.