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Jeff's World (MN/CA border)

Minnesota

Description

Jeff's World is accessed through Crane Lake, MN. You may know of Crane Lake as the gateway to Voyager National park, the BWCAW and Quetico Provincial park, but it is also the gateway to some great single pitch climbing. All on good granite. Some of it is covered with lichens, but there is quite a bit that is very clean. There is bouldering, sport climbing, top roping and trad routes. There is still plenty of undeveloped potential available.

Most of Jeff's World climbing is accessed by water, so a boat or a canoe is a a good thing to have.

Much of the established climbing is actually in Canada and are accessed by first clearing Canadian customs at the port of entry on Sandpoint lake. Sandpoint lake is the next lake north of Crane lake. You can get to the climbing areas on the Canadian side of the boarder without clearing customs. To do that you have to first obtain a Remote Area Boarder Crossing Permit (RABC). With an RABC permit you can travel within 5 miles of the boarder without clearing customs. See the following web site to obtain an RABC permit. They take about 2 months to get.

cbsa.gc.ca/travel/canpass/r…

If you don't have a boat or canoe to get to the climbing areas, there are outfitters that will pick you up at Crane lake and deliver you (and your canoe if you don't want to paddle the 12 miles) to the Canadian climbing areas. These outfitters will also rent boats or canoes. If you really want to get plush, gets some people together and rent a houseboat for the week. Below are some links with more information about Crane Lake outfitters:

visitcranelake.com/index.html
voyagaire.com/
norwaylodge.com/
anderson-outfitters.com/
handbergs.com/
visitcranelake.com/resorts/…
visitcranelake.com/resorts/…

Getting There

To get to Crane Lake from Minneapolis/St Paul, take I-35 to Cloquet. At Cloquet take SR-33 to US -53. US -53 goes all the way to International falls. After passing through Virgina Minnesota you will eventually get to the town of Orr. At Orr turn east on CR - 23 to Crane lake. Its at the end of the road in about 28 miles.

See the beta picture for a satellite view of the crane lake area and all the climbing areas.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

View from atop Mooselandia wall. Swamp Wall swamp can be seen in the lower left. <br>
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Photo by Bobby Omann
[Hide Photo] View from atop Mooselandia wall. Swamp Wall swamp can be seen in the lower left. Photo by Bobby Omann
Hike into Secret Lake/Jeff's World.
[Hide Photo] Hike into Secret Lake/Jeff's World.
The boat landing for Secret Lake/Jeff's World on Crane Lake.
[Hide Photo] The boat landing for Secret Lake/Jeff's World on Crane Lake.
Bob on Electric Stegesaurus, 5.11d, Swamp Wall.
[Hide Photo] Bob on Electric Stegesaurus, 5.11d, Swamp Wall.
Stan on Lakota Son Rise, 5.13a, Secret Lake.
[Hide Photo] Stan on Lakota Son Rise, 5.13a, Secret Lake.
the Blue Boy Shorts Beta<br>
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photo by: Sean Foster
[Hide Photo] the Blue Boy Shorts Beta photo by: Sean Foster
David Lake campsite. It's not bad.
[Hide Photo] David Lake campsite. It's not bad.
One of MANY boulders up and around Jeff's World. SO MUCH POTENTIAL
[Hide Photo] One of MANY boulders up and around Jeff's World. SO MUCH POTENTIAL
Camping at Secret Lake
[Hide Photo] Camping at Secret Lake
If you're a lucky one, you'll get to stay with Jeff Engel at his parents' guest cabin and perhaps enjoy this sauna house. yummmmmm
[Hide Photo] If you're a lucky one, you'll get to stay with Jeff Engel at his parents' guest cabin and perhaps enjoy this sauna house. yummmmmm
Zay on Qisma, 5.10c, Secret Lake
[Hide Photo] Zay on Qisma, 5.10c, Secret Lake
Kurt Hager on Lakota Son Rise, 5.13a, Secret Lake.
[Hide Photo] Kurt Hager on Lakota Son Rise, 5.13a, Secret Lake.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Paul Getzke
Bloomington, mn
[Hide Comment] I am very excited about the future of bouldering around the Buyck/Crane Lake area. The entire area is the remains of an ancient mountain range and granite outcrops all over the place. Big boulders are not exactly plentiful, but they are out there to find in the thick northern woods. The region has to be one of the most remote-feeling area in Minnesota and that makes for good adventure bouldering. Car camping is 5 star at Lake Jeanette and also good at Echo Lake. There is very little useful information to be found on the web, but if you keep looking you will find some videos and blogs describing a few of the boulders, but they never say where they really are. I have found quite a few at this point, but will respect "the mystery" until someone decides to post them on this site. I highly recommend this area if you like bouldering and camping in Boundary Waters-like beauty, but also like having the creature comforts of car camping. Mar 18, 2011
[Hide Comment] A taste of what you are in for if you travel to Crane Lake and beyond.


vimeo.com/157768423 Sep 7, 2016
[Hide Comment] Anderson's offers shuttles priced at about $150 for a boat of that holds up to 12 people and 6 canoes to get to the Clearwater Bay of Sandpoint Lake (where the trailhead to Secret Lake begins). This price is one way, so for a trip with 6 people each person would contribute $50 round trip. A good option if you are short on time, otherwise the canoe can take anywhere form 2.5 - 5 hours depending on wind (or longer if it's REALLY windy). Jun 12, 2017
[Hide Comment] Riffing off Jeff's description far above and KurtH's comment immediately above: Unless you have a local connection, the logistics of getting to the Jeff's World complex are daunting. Which is part of what makes the trip awesome. We visited recently and had a great time. Our success was aided significantly by water taxi service and approach beta from Emily S who works out of Crane Lake. Her website is mnvoyageurs dot com. Hope I am not stepping on toes by posting that recommendation here, but she gave us a monster head start. May 30, 2019
[Hide Comment] After doing many trips here now, there are a few quick items that could be helpful for an enjoyable experience. Others you may just have to figure out on your own.

1. Bring lots of chalk as few people come back here and routes may be bare if they haven't been climbed in a while.
2. Similarly, a crucial piece of gear is a wire brush. Give back and put a little time into cleaning and maintaining the routes!
3. In case of an emergency, most cell service providers can get excellent coverage at the top of Jeffs World proper.
4. Spring season is fleeting, lasting only about 3 weeks after ice out before the flies and mosquitos arrive in force.
5. Sandpoint lodge, located about 2 miles from Jeffs World, sells stove and boat gas, plus ice, snacks, and even ice cream in case you need a resupply and don't want to go back to America. Jun 3, 2019