Closest Access Point: Can Lake (Access Point #5)
Distance To Access Point: 7 KM (1.5-2 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: July, 2020
This is a decent site on a very busy lake. It’s not the best that’s available, but it’s certainly not the worst either.
Terrain: This site is kind of split into two bits. There’s the canoe landing, fire pit and swimming area near the water (obvs. Don’t know how you could have swim area that’s not near the water). Then there’s a short path leading into the woods that comes out at a nice big clearing where you could set up at least a couple of tents, if not more. The entire site is very flat, although if I remember right there’s a slight uphill to find the thunderbox (which I did not actually find, but I’m sure it was that way).
Canoe Landing: The shoreline of this site is sloping rock that descends gradually into the lake. This makes for a great swimming location, but there isn’t actually a natural canoe pull up. Basically, you can come up sideways at any point along that rock and mountain goat your way out. There aren’t many underwater obstacles, apart from various spots where the sloping rock juts up just a bit making the area right beside the shore different degrees of shallow.
Fire Pit: The fire pit for this site isn’t anything special. It’s just a low circle of rocks in which you can put a fire (and apparently your garbage. FYI, fire pits are not garbage cans. If you’re not going to burn it yourself, pack it out). The location of the pit is great though. Right beside the water, you’ve got a great view of Joe Lake while you’re roasting your marshmallows.
Swimability: I did not swim here, but it looked very swimmable. I like gradually sloping rock slabs for wading into the lake.
Tent Sites: As I mentioned, there’s a nice clearing behind the site that has plenty of flat ground for two or three tents. The tent spots are back in the brush, so you won’t be able to watch the water from your sleeping bag. But apart from that they’re pretty good.
Thunderbox: You know what? I totally forgot to check out this thunderbox. I bet it’s awesome. It probably has wings. And mints. And a guy handing you towels. But, also, this is a really heavily trafficked part of the Park so maybe hold your breath if you’re using any thunderbox on Joe Lake by August.
Accessories: There’s a handy bear hand rope (for hanging food, not hanging bears) behind the site. Apart from that it’s a pretty minimalist site. There aren’t even really any log benches around the fire pit, unless you count the wrecked and lonely looking log beside the fire pit. But you shouldn’t count it, because it’s garbage. Bring a chair.
Views: Really nice views up and down Joe from the fire pit and front of the site. Pretty much no view at all from the tent sites, unless you count seeing your buddy’s tent as a veiw.
Notes: Like most sites on Joe (western narrows leading into Tepee excepted), this is a decent site. Nothing too special about it, but nothing too terrible either.