Brule Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Brule Lake #41 Fishing: MN DNR; Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye
Maps: Fisher F-6; McKenzie #21 or #3 Lake Depth: MN DNR; 78 feet
Fire History:
Lake Size: 4272 acres
Campsites: About 32 Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: August 22, 2015 Lake Elevation: 1834 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR

Routes from Brule Lake:
To Cam Lake: Walk the 100 rod portage
Echo Lake: Paddle in
Juno Lake: Walk the 60 rod portage
Lily Lake: Walk the 37 rod portage
South Cone Lake: Walk the 30 rod portage
Temperance River: Walk the 10 rod portage
Vernon Lake: Walk the 65 rod portage

Brule Lake

Tofte Ranger District

This is the second largest lake that is entirely within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). Only Trout Lake in the western part of the BWCA is larger. This is not a good lake on a day with strong winds.

The name of the lake is derived from the French word mean "burnt wood".

Currently have only visited the entry point area of Brule Lake so there is not much information here yet.

Brule Lake offers many route opportunities with a total of six portages leading to routes that extend further into the BWCA. There are also over 30 campsites located right on Brule Lake so even if you get here late in the day, you'll easily be able to find a place to hang out. The shoreline of the lake is nearly 38 miles long.

There are two entry points for Brule Lake (#41 and #42). Entry point 41 has no restrictions. If you use entry point 42, you must camp on Brule Lake for the duration of your visit.

Exploring Brule Lake

Paddling from Cam Lake Portage to South Temperance Lake Portage

This paddle across Brule Lake takes you south from the Cam Lake portage and then west over to the South Temperance Lake portage and the beginning of the Temperance River. As you paddle, to your right are two very prominent hills that are visible for much of the route through Brule Lake. These hills rise to over 2,000 feet above sea level. For reference and comparison, the highest point in Minnesota is 2,301 feet (Eagle Mountain).

Brule Lake from Cam Lake portage BWCA
Brule Lake from the Cam Lake portage. The lower slopes of the large hill just south of Wench Lake is visible in the center distance. This hill is 2,060+ feet in elevation. The surface of Brule Lake is 1,834 feet.

From the Cam Lake portage, paddling south down the northwest bay of Brule Lake.

Continue your Brule Lake crossing, you round a point with a huge talus field below a high cliff. This is similar to another talus field on nearby Gasket Lake.

Cliff on Brule Lake in BWCA
The point on the west side of the bay that leads to the Cam Lake portage. This is just southeast of the east end of Wench Lake. A large talus slope has been created over geological time at the base of the cliff.

Brule Lake BWCA
Another view of the cliff from a bit further out on the lake. The channel leading to the bay where the Cam Lake portage is found is just to the right out of the view.

This short stretch of paddling takes you to the mouth of the bay in the northwest part of Brule Lake. Once you go through that channel ahead, you hook a right to set course for the Temperance River portage to the west.

Now out on the more open part of Brule Lake, you make for the western end of the lake looking for the Temperance River portage.

Brule Lake in BWCA
A more distant hill as seen from about a quarter-mile east of the South Temperance Lake portage. This more distance hill lies just northwest of Wench Lake. It has a measured elevation of 2,151 feet and is about three-quarters of a mile away from where you float in your canoe.

Staying fairly close to the north shoreline, continue on to the west. Eventually you arrive at the Temperance River portage. This is the headwaters of the Temperance River. The egress from the canoe was not elegant in this instance. Instead of crawling out through the bushes, pull up on the rock slab.

Brule Lake from Temperance River portage in BWCA
The island due east of the portage to South Temperance Lake and just offshore of the start of the Temperance River. The Temperance River's headwaters are here at Brule Lake. The Temperance River begins just out of view over your right shoulder.

View of Brule Lake from Entry Point 41

Brule Lake in the BWCA
Brule Lake from the Entry Point 41 landing.

Looking around from the canoe landing on Brule Lake (Entry Point 41 and 42).

Route Connections for Brule Lake

From Brule Lake, you can portage to Cam Lake, Echo Lake, Juno Lake, Lily Lake, South Cone Lake, South Temperance Lake or Vernon Lake. You can also bushwhack to Bull Lake, Cow Lake, Headlight Lake and Wench Lake. Also, Brule Lake is the location of Entry Point 41 - Brule Lake.

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