Crooked Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Missing Link Lake #51 or Brant Lake #52 Fishing: MN DNR; Lake Trout, Northern Pike
Maps: Fisher F-12; McKenzie #7 Lake Depth: MN DNR; 66 feet
Fire History: 2006 Cavity Lake Fire; 1875 and 1864
Lake Size: 233 acres
Campsites: 5 (1 visited);
Campsite 1
Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: June 14, 2020;
October 10, 2015
Lake Elevation: 1637 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR

To Gillis Lake: Walk the 90 rod portage
To Owl Lake: Walk the 55 rod portage
To Tarry Lake: Walk the 50 rod portage

Crooked Lake

Gunflint Ranger District

Campsite 1: Campsite on the north shoreline due west of Owl Lake portage

Crooked Lake provides access to three other routes to nearby lakes in the BWCA. To the east, a portage of 50 rods or so leads to Owl Lake and Tuscarora Lake beyond that. To the south, a portage leads to Tarry Lake. The water of Crooked Lake flows through a small creek into Tarry Lake. The Tarry Lake portage is a bit of a boulder field. Out the north side of Crooked Lake is a portage of 90 rods to Gillis Lake. This portage has the ruins of an old log cabin along it and a pretty creek that flows over some rapids right before it enters Gillis Lake. A small scenic lake can also be observed along this portage. Jerry Lake also flows into Crooked Lake. Jerry Lake drains Hooter Lake, Ogle Lake and even Tuscarora Lake. The water from all of these lakes enters the east bay of Jerry Lake through a creek. Jerry Lake sort of "grades" into Crooked Lake in Crooked Lake's southeast corner.

Crooked Lake hosts lake trout and northern pike. The depth of the lake is just sufficient for the former.

Two large islands and a smaller third one are found in the eastern half of Crooked Lake. The largest island is about 40 acres in area. The lakes jagged shoreline extends about eight miles and is the reason for the lakes name.

The forests around Crooked Lake were spared from the 2006 Cavity Lake Fire. However, much of the shoreline was burned in the late 1800's. The large islands have forests that date back to the start of the 19th century.

The remains of an old trappers cabin can be found near the lake along the Crooked Lake to Gillis Lake portage. A rock crib that used to support a dock can be found in the water just off the Owl Lake portage. This structure dates back to when motorboats were allowed in this lake. There are supposedly remains of a dock underwater at the Gillis Lake portage, but have not been able to spot it.

Exploring Crooked Lake

Routes to locations on Crooked Lake are shown below:
Paddling from the Gillis Lake portage to the Owl Lake portage
Paddling from the Owl Lake portage to the Gillis Lake portage

Click on the photos below to see the full resolution image - Use your browsers back button to close photo and return to this page.


Crooked Lake 1
An island is visible out in front of the Gillis Lake portage landing. This is late fall in the Boundary Waters and it is nearing dusk.

A relatively short paddle heading east down the northeast arm of Crooked Lake. This paddle takes you from the Gillis Lake portage, east toward the rising sun and over to the Owl Lake portage.

Crooked Lake 2
Crooked Lake from the Owl Lake portage landing.
Portage to Owl Lake -or- Explore Another Route
**********************************************END OF ROUTE***********************************************


Crooked Lake 3
The eastern end of Crooked Lake as seen from the Owl Lake portage. You are looking generally to the west.

Crooked Lake 4
This is a view from the campsite that is just west of the Owl Lake portage. View is to the southeast of the long point (just right of center) that extends to the northwest from the south shore of Crooked Lake.

Crooked Lake map1From the Owl Lake portage at the east end of Crooked Lake, paddle along the north shore of Crooked Lake until arriving at the Gillis Lake portage. A short stop to stretch the legs is made mid-course at the campsite along the route.

Crooked Lake 5
Looking toward the west from the campsite that is just west of the Owl Lake portage.

Crooked Lake 6
This view is straight south down the channel from the Gillis Lake portage. The more open part of Crooked Lake is visible in the distance.
Portage to Gillis Lake -or- Explore Another Route
**********************************************END OF ROUTE***********************************************

Route Connections for Crooked Lake

From Crooked Lake, you can portage to Gillis Lake, Owl Lake or Tarry Lake. You can also also paddle into Jerry Lake.

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