Rifle Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Lake One #30 Fishing: Unknown
Maps: Fisher F-10, F-31 Special; McKenzie #18 Lake Depth: Unknown
Fire History: No fires in recorded history
Lake Size: 39 acres
Campsites: 1 (1 visited)
Campsite 1
Wildlife Seen on Visit: None
Last Visited: August 7, 2021;
Previous Visit(s): July 2, 2015
Lake Elevation: About 1490 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR

To Lake Two: Walk the 69 rod portage
To Bridge Lake: Walk the 157 rod portage

Rifle Lake

Kawishiwi Ranger District

Campsite 1: Along north shore near Bridge Lake portage. Only campsite on lake.

If you want to quickly lose the crowds on Lake One, Lake Two and Lake Three, head up to Rifle Lake. This is a small, but very pretty lake with large white pines and dark water.

The 69 rod portage leading to Rifle Lake is easy to travel. The portage ends at a rock shelf on Rifle Lake next to deep, dark water. Rifle Lake only supports a single campsite. So if you come this way, be prepared to continue onward if you find that campsite occupied. If you continue north of Rifle Lake, the next portage is 157 rods up to Bridge Lake (unless you wish to return to Lake Two). It is this 157 rod portage that will discourage many BWCA visitors from coming this way. That is a good thing if you seek a quite BWCA experience. Bridge Lake has very little traffic compared to the numbered lakes. This route also makes a nice, tight loop. The loop goes from Lake Two, to Rifle Lake, to Bridge Lake, into the long north arm of Lake Four and then back through Lake Three to Lake Two. These narrow lakes (Rifle, Bridge and north arm of Lake Four) are particularly scenic.

Rifle Lakes shallows are the home of thousands of wild iris plants. If you come here in late spring or early summer, the iris flowers will be in full bloom along with the flowers on the lakes countless lily pads.

Rifle Lake may support sunfish and largemouth bass according to several articles on the Internet. The Minnesota DNR website has no information on this lake.

The lakes gets its name from its shape resembling a folding rifle.

Exploring Rifle Lake

Routes to locations on Rifle Lake are shown below:
Paddling from the Bridge Lake portage to the Lake Two portage
Paddling from the Lake Two portage to Rifle Lakes only campsite

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


Rifle Lake 8
View of the small bay of Rifle Lake and the canoe landing for the portage to Bridge Lake (July 2, 2015).

Paddling from the Bridge Lake portage along the west shoreline of Rifle Lake to the Lake Two portage (July 2, 2015).

Rifle Lake 3
Thousand of blue flag iris grow along almost the entire shoreline of Rifle Lake. Most of these wild iris have light blue flowers. The lily pads usually have white or yellow flowers (July 2, 2015).

Rifle Lake 1
A view of much of Rifle Lake that you can take in while standing at the Lake Two portage (July 2, 2015).

Rifle Lake 11
Same view as above, but only about the right half of it is shown here (August 7, 2021).
Portage to Lake Two -or- Explore Another Route
***********************************************END OF ROUTE***********************************************


Rifle Lake 2
Looking to your left from the portage landing that marks the start of the trail leading to Lake Two (July 2, 2015).

Rifle Lake 12
Nearly the same view as above, but several years later (August 7, 2021).

Rifle Lake 6
Close up view of the countless wild iris and lily pads along the shoreline of Rifle Lake (July 2, 2015).

From the landing at the end of the Lake Two portage, paddle up the west arm of Rifle Lake until you reach the lakes only campsite. This campsite is just to the right of the bay containing the Bridge Lake portage (July 2, 2015).

Rifle Lake 4
This is the point that forms the "bend" in the rifle-like shape of the lake (July 2, 2015).

Rifle Lake 5
A look toward the eastern part of Rifle Lake, while standing at the lakes only campsite (July 2, 2015).
Visit the Campsite -or- Explore Another Route
***********************************************END OF ROUTE***********************************************

Route Connections for Rifle Lake

From Rifle Lake, you can portage to Bridge Lake or Lake Two.

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