Grand Lake – Site 15 (Carcajou Bay)

Grand Lake
Map Courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

Closest Access Point: Achray (Access Point 22)
Distance To Access Point:  3 KM (1 – 1 1/2 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy.
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: May, 2018

This is a decent campsite that’s very close to the access point. Carcajou Bay only has four sites on it, and while this one is quite close to campsite #14, it’d still be a good spot to bring kids if you want to avoid any portaging, but still feel like you’re away from the crowds.

Terrain: There’s a definite rise from the water to the site proper. The fire pit area and tent sites are on the same level, about 10 feet above the water. It’s not a tough climb, but it’s there. The ground is fairly clear of major obstructions and there’s decent tree cover overhead. To the north of the site is a series of rock boulders and ledges you can monkey along if you feel like visiting your neighbours over at site 15. The ground cover is mostly pine needles and dirt.

Canoe Landing: There are two good spots to pull up canoes, both of which are clear of underwater impediments. The best spot is on the south facing side of the site and is a wide flat area with a couple of breaks in the shoreline that make it easy to pull up. There’s a secondary slip that’s big enough for one boat on the east facing side of the site. It’s also the first one you see if you’re coming from Grand, so if you want more room, just paddle around the point to the south facing spot.

Looking east over the fire pit.

Fire Pit: The fire pit is in good shape. It’s got high, solid walls that’ll either protect your flame from the wind or give you a good spot to prop a grill (or both). The set up around the pit is nice too, with a couple of decent log benches and some flat stones for resting a drink on while you sit and watch the blaze. There’s also a nearby table for all your table needs.

Swimability: I didn’t swim here. It was four days after ice out and I was going to wait for a more sane time for my first dip (which ended up being the next night, so there’s that). It looks like a good site to swim from. The underwater footing seemed fine and that south facing flat area would be good to walk in or out of. The shore might be a bit weedy later on in the year, but it seemed fine when I was there.

Tent Sites: At least two decent spots close to the fire pit. Big enough for 3 or 4 person tents and reasonably level throughout. You could make a third spot in a number of spots if needed, just be ready to sacrifice a bit of that levelness.

Thunderbox: There was definitely a thunder box, but apparently I didn’t take a picture of it. I don’t remember it being particularly great or terrible.

Now that’s a table.

Accessories: As mentioned earlier, there’s a nice bench set up around the fire pit and a really good table nearby for food prep. The grill that comes with the site gets a 2 out of 5 on the “I’m not putting anything that’s going in my stomach on that thing” scale.

Views: This site’s got nice views to the south and northeast. There are a enough trees dotting the site that you’re not 100% visible to anyone on site 15 (I know because we went over to site 15 to visit with the folks staying there), but you’re not invisible either. The good news is this means you’ve got a nice view of Carcajou Bay from many places on the site. The bad news is that Carcajou Bay’s got a decent view of you as well.

Notes: This was a fine site. Decent if you’re heading out with inexperienced trippers for a first time or, like us, using it as base camp before heading further south the next day. You could also make it a good home base for a couple of nights if you just want to do some exploring in the area.

Related Trip Report: Four Lakes to Clover
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