We paddled the Granite River on July 11th, and it was beautiful! We were worried about the effects of the Ham Lake fire, and now we're delighted. It feels like a blueberry farmer went in to burn off the undergrowth to cultivate the area for blueberries. The plants are happily invading any areas of black soil.
The camper entry quota has been reduced, so that only one group per day is allowed into Magnetic Lake....we didn't see any other campers; we had all of the unburned blueberriy patches to ourselves. I HIGHLY recommend it for travel---if you can get one of the few permits left. You can see by the photos that the burned trees are spotty. Only Larch Lake shoreline burned completely---but the island was not touched.
Note: The temporary cell tower was taken down so that there is no longer cell service on the Gunflint Trail. All of the land lies are working better than ever.