Ima Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Snowbank Lake #27, 28 Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Walleye, Bluegill, Lake Trout
Maps: Fisher F-10, F-11, F-31 Special; McKenzie #9 Lake Depth: MN DNR Lake Map; 116 feet
Fire History:
Lake Size: 772 acres
Campsites: 11 Wildlife Seen on Visit: Loon
Last Visited: July 25, 2015 Lake Elevation: 1503 feet
Water Clarity: Unknown Routes from Ima Lake:
To Jordan Lake: Walk the 5 rod portage
To Hatchet Lake: Walk the 85 rod portage
To Alworth Lake: Walk the 5 rod portage
To Reflection Lake: Bushwhack and Paddle In about 20 rods
To Snatch Lake: Bushwhack/Paddle In about 30 rods

Ima Lake

Kawishiwi Ranger District

This is an attractive lake characterized by large, smooth rock ledges around the lakes perimeter. These smooth platforms of rock make good places to walk around and stretch your canoe legs. The lake has tons of structure: bays, fallen trees, rocky island, points, etc. The water of Ima Lake flows into Jordan Lake near the portage.

Ima Lake was named after the daughter of a geologist who studied this area. His last name was Professor N. H. Winchell. It wasn't named "Ima" because it's a lake as in ("I'm a lake").

A large and fairly deep lake between Jordan Lake and Thomas Lake, Ima Lake holds good populations of northern pike and walleye. This lake has lake trout too. Once you reach Ima Lake, you will have left most of the crowds behind. You can usually find a nice campsite with little effort out here.

Ima Lake received a fairly heavy blow from the 1999 Independence Day windstorm event and evidence of that is still easy to see around the lake; in particular along the north shore of the lake there are a lot of trees down.

From Ima Lake, there are surprisingly few route options with most groups continuing toward Thomas Lake. To the south of Ima Lake is Alworth Lake, but this lake is pretty much a dead end unless you want to portage your canoe down a hiking path; the Old Pines Trail hugs part of Alworth Lake's shoreline. This trail sees few travelers and is hard to follow. Just north of Ima Lake is the Spider Lake Primitive Management Area (PMA). Ima Lake provides direct and fairly easy access to both Snatch Lake and Reflection Lake. Beyond Reflection Lake is a very pretty lake called Sedative Lake, but you will have to work a bit to get there. The routes in PMA's are not maintained by the U.S. Forest Service and you will need an additional permit to camp there. Here are the PMA regulations if you're interested.

Exploring Ima Lake

Ima Lake in the BWCA
Your view of Ima Lake from the portage landing leading to Jordan Lake. The small bay that attaches to the east shore of the narrow channel leading from the Jordan Lake portage landing into the main part of Ima Lake is visible in the distance; it is just beyond that point to your right.

Ima Lake BWCA
Peering into that small bay along the east shore of the entrance channel into Ima Lake. Much of the bay is covered with lily pads sporting white flowers.

Taking off from the Jordan Lake portage landing, you paddle northeast along the north side of Ima Lake until you get near the area of Ima Lake that is closest to Solitude Lake on your map.

Ima Lake Photo BWCA
There are thousands of toppled trees lying along the shoreline. Most of these were blown down by the 1999 Independence Day windstorm. A straightline wind (known as a derecho) moving at around 100 mph, blew through this area on that day.

Route Connections for Ima Lake

From Ima Lake, you can portage to Alworth Lake, Hatchet Lake or Jordan Lake. You can also bushwhack into Reflection Lake and Snatch Lake (both within the Spider Lake Primitive Management Area).

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PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
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