South Temperance Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Brule Lake #41 Fishing: MN DNR; Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye
Maps: Fisher F-12; McKenzie #21 Lake Depth: MN DNR; 24 feet
Fire History:
Lake Size: 214 acres
Campsites: About 3 Wildlife Seen on Visit: Waterfowl
Last Visited: May 27, 2016 Lake Elevation: 1834 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR

Routes from South Temperance Lake:
To Brule Lake (via short stretch of Temperance River): Walk the 10 rod portage
To North Temperance Lake: Walk the 55 rod portage
To Temperance River: Walk the 240 rod portage

South Temperance Lake

Tofte Ranger District

South Temperance Lake is a sprawling lake with many bays and a number of islands. This is in contrast to the other lakes strung out along the Temperance River which tend to be long and skinny; really just wider sections of the river.

The fishing on South Temperance Lake is good for the big three: northern pike, walleye and smallmouth bass. There are four campsites to here; the one on the southeast point by the island being the most popular (I think). This campsite has a wide view of much of the lake from an elevated position.

South Temperance Lake is a popular destination lake in this area. It is fairly close to BWCA Entry Point 41 - Brule Lake and also easily reachable in a day from the Baker Lake entry. So you may want to find a campsite early if you plan to stay on this lake.

This lake also serves as a crossroads to other routes in this part of the BWCA. To the east a short 10 rod portage along some rapids gets you into Brule Lake. Brule Lake by the way is the source of the Temperance River, not South Temperance Lake. Portaging north from South Temperance Lake with naturally get you to North Temperance Lake. North Temperance Lake is a much different flavor from its sister lake. North Temperance Lake is clearer and deeper. Large cliffs/hills rise up to the east of North Temperance Lake. North Temperance Lake is more scenic, but the fishing doesn't seem as good. Continue this way past North Temperance Lake, the route will eventually take you up to Cherokee Lake. The portages between Cherokee Lake and South Temperance Lake are fairly challenging. Finally there is a southern exit from South Temperance Lake. This is along a 230 rod portage that generally parallels the Temperance River. This easily walked portage eventually ends at a wide and slow section of the river.

North Temperance Lake drains into South Temperance Lake through a small creek. The main source of water to the lake is from the Temperance River coming from Brule Lake. South Temperance Lake drains out through the Temperance River to the south.

Exploring South Temperance Lake

South Temperance Lake in BWCA
This is the Temperance River at the bottom of the rapids that are bypassed by the 10 rod portage from Brule Lake. The rapids and portage are behind you over your left shoulder. The river soon opens up into South Temperance Lake just after making that left turn visible on the right side of your view.

South Temperance Lake in the BWCA
The lake really opens up here. The only way to go here is to the left (west). The lake only extends back into a small bay for a couple hundred feet to the right (east).

The paddle across South Temperance Lake begins where the river widens on the lakes eastern end. Paddle on until nearing the small point with the prominent pair of pine trees.

South Temperance Lake Boundary Waters
South Temperance Lake narrows slightly until you reach this point seen here on the left side of your view. From this point, the lake really opens up and you will be able to see several islands in the distant once you pass it.

From the large pine trees, paddle westward until you near the small island near the center point of the lake. This island is north of the campsite on the point in the south part of the lake.

You proceed with paddling until reaching the south end of the lake and the start of the long portage along the Temperance River.

South Temperance Lake from Temperance River portage in BWCA
This view extends from the northwest to the northeast and encompasses most of the more open part of South Temperance Lake. You are standing at the Temperance River portage. This is a 240 rod portage to a wide area on the Temperance River. It is an easy trail to walk and is generally downhill from this point.

Route Connections for South Temperance Lake

From South Temperance Lake, you can portage to Brule Lake, North Temperance Lake or into the Temperance River.

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