Range Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Mudro Lake #22 and Mudro Lake #23 Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Northern Pike, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Walleye (few)
Maps: Fisher F-9; McKenzie #12 Lake Depth: MN DNR Lake Map; 19 feet
Fire History: None in recorded history
Lake Size: 81 acres
Campsites: 1;
Campsite 1
Wildlife Seen on Visit: Pair of Trumpeter Swans, Turkey Vulture
Last Visited: September 8, 2019 Lake Elevation: 1327 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Routes from Range Lake:
To Range River (this is route to Basswood Lake): Walk the first 145 rods of portage to Sandpit Lake, then take turnoff (go right) at intersection with 10 rod portage which leads to Range River
To Sandpit Lake: Walk the 160 rod portage
To Cloquet Line Road parking area: Walk the 220 rod portage

Range Lake

Kawishiwi Ranger District

This is a dead end lake at the end of a fairly long portage. Portage is easy though. Range Lake has thick groves of lilypads and other water-based vegetation along most of its shoreline. The western shoreline of the lake is particularly marshy. Some respectable cliffs can be seen near the start of the portage to Sandpit Lake.

There are two portages leading to Range Lake. The portage from Sandpit Lake is as flat as a pancake and is about as easy as a 160 rod portage can be. This portage was previously the location of a railroad track that was used back in the logging era. The portage from Sandpit Lake is also intersected by another portage coming from the Range River. This portage intersection is only about 15 rods from Sandpit Lake. The Range River can be followed to the east until it flows into Basswood Lake (Jackfish Bay). There is one portage along the Range River that is obvious but isn't shown on most BWCA maps. There is another portage shown on maps that leads out to Cloquet Line Road from Range Lake, but did not find it (didn't look that hard for it though). Casually looking for this portage did not result in its discovery.

The Range River flows into the west side of Range Lake into an area covered by lilypads and floating bog. The creek flows out the opposite side of the lake. A pretty rapids can be seen just after the creek leaves Range Lake along the portage to Sandpit Lake.

The campsite on Range Lake is pretty average, but if you camp here you have the entire lake to yourself. This is a dead end route (few will take the portage out to Cloquet Line Road), so should be a quiet place to camp.

Fishing for northern pike in this lake seems promising.


Exploring Range Lake

Paddling from Sandpit Lake Portage to Campsite


View of Range Lake from the start of the portage to Sandpit Lake. This view is to the west. The Range River flows out of the lake just beyond your view to the left.



North shoreline of Range Lake looking to the west.



Beginning at the Sandpit Lake portage, paddle counterclockwise around Range Lake. This stretch of paddling takes you along the entire north shore of the lake until you reach the campsite near the west end.



Just to the right of center of your view you can see a small point sticking out into the lake. This is the location of the campsite which is not super easy to see from the lake.



The point that makes the location of this campsite easy when out on the water is to your right. The best place to park your canoe is right at your feet in this little bay on the east side of this tiny point.


Paddling from Campsite counterclockwise around lake to Sandpit Lake Portage


Looking south along west shore of lake. That beaver lodge just right of the center of your view is the general location of where the Range River flows into the western side of Range Lake.



Starting at the lakes only campsite, continue counterclockwise around Range Lake until you get back to the Sandpit Lake portage in the northeast corner of the lake.



Cattail and lilypads in the southeast corner of Range Lake.



Looking north along the eastern shore of Range Lake. Some cliffs are visible just left of center which rise above the approximate location of the Sandpit Lake portage landing.



This is where the Range River flows out of Range Lake. The Sandpit Lake portage landing is visible to the far left of your view.

Route Connections for Range Lake

From Range Lake, you can portage to the Range River or Sandpit Lake. To reach the Range River, follow the Sandpit Lake portage, but perhaps 20 rods from Sandpit Lake, there is an intersection. Take the 10 rod portage at this point. The Range River can be paddled to Basswood Lake (Jackfish Bay). There is one set of rapids along this route. There is an obvious portage for these rapids, but this portage is not shown on most maps of the BWCA.

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