Disappointment Mountain Area Trails

In spring 2021, two friends and I set off to hike a bunch of the shorter trails which branch off from the Kekekabic Trail. These trails have always been interesting to me, but because they require 5+ miles of a “commute” on the Kek just to get there, they are not easy for a laid-back weekend. For me, hiking in the BWCA should never be about miles or speed — it is a place to slow down and cherish what we have. So the long commute into the area means a long weekend is required. Luckily, we had one.

I’ve walked by this sign before and always wondered. Now I know!

First we hiked to the Becoosin-Benezie Loop. This little gem of a trail has a great mileage-to-campsite ratio, and for this reason it would make a great addition to a Kekekabic Trail hike. We camped on Becoosin at a lovely site. Note: When you leave the Kek for the loop at its western end, it appears that you have to scale a small cliff. You don’t. The trail is clear and easy once you get there, but from a distance it looks intimidating.

View from my tent. Yes please.

In the morning we completed the Becoosin-Benezie Loop and rejoined the Kekekabic Trail until its intersection with the Old Pines Loop. We turned north on Old Pines and walked along Disappointment Lake, turning east towards Disappointment Mountain.

It’s not NOT a view…

Disappointment Mountain lives up to its name, as there are few views, and the trail does not actually summit Disappointment Mountain, though it comes close to summitting one of its secondary peaks. I expected something different, but that’s part of the game with the BWCA: you have to not expect anything in particular.
There was a pretty interesting beaver dam crossing. That is one of the few things that’s safe to expect.


The trail crossed the Kekekabic Trail and we continued south to a campsite on Medas Lake, which was excellent. I went swimming despite the early season.

For a few miles, the Old Pines Trail loops south of the Kekekabic Trail through an area with — this will shock you — old pines. The pine to mile ratio wasn’t quite what I had anticipated, but the few old pines we saw were pretty awe-inspiring.

Old Pine

We headed west on the Kek, detouring to Parent Lake’s campsite, and out the next day. We had intended to retrace our steps up Old Pines and hike west to Snowbank, but I wasn’t feeling so hot and a storm was coming that day. Nevertheless, I got to the most remote parts of the trail network and enjoyed time with friends.

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