Iris Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Sawbill Lake Fishing: Unknown
Maps: Fisher F-12, McKenzie #7 Lake Depth: Unknown
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 25 acres
Campsites: None Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1820 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 1875, 1863-64? (not shown on map yet), 1846 and 1727

Iris Lake

Hairy Lake PMA

Iris Lake is a very scenic lake, in a chain of pretty remote lakes extending from Octopus Lake up to Copper Lake. The lake is surrounded by high, forested cliffs. A picture of Iris Lake can be seen here.

A large 1875 fire that likely ignited somewhere near Lake Insula and the Hog Lake area. The fire is known as the Alice Lake/Ogishkemuncie Lake/Tuscarora Lake/Cherokee Lake Complex.

One of the huge 1863-64 fires, namely the North Kawishiwi River/Alice Lake/Cypress Lake/Saganaga Lake Complex, ravaged this area. This fire likely started near the town of Isabella, Minnesota.

This fire started within what is now the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area. The ignition point was probably somewhere between Mass Lake and Auk Lake. This fire, which took place in 1846, is called the Auk Lake/Long Island Lake/Cross Bay Lake Complex.

Way back in 1727, the Gordon Lake/Brule Lake/Winchell Lake Complex burned this area. It probably began somewhere near Sawbill Lake.

Pauly, Daniel, Exploring the Boundary Waters (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 329.

Approach to Iris Lake

From Fetters Lake: Look for an old portage trail that can be followed all the way to Iris Lake.

From Ell Lake: Follow a small creek that connects the southernmost point of Ell Lake with Iris Lake.

Bushwhack to Iris Lake

From Fetters Lake: After finding a small trail at the north end of Fetters Lake, follow it for about 60 rods until you reach Iris Lake.

From Ell Lake: Walk south through a small valley that opens up into a wider peat bog as you continue southward (a total of maybe 20 rods). At the south edge of the peat bog, follow a creek and perhaps a faint trail about 10 more rods down a steep slope to the north end of Iris Lake. The shore of Iris Lake is reported to be steep in trip reports for this area, so it may be difficult to find a path during the last 10 rods of this bushwhack, that reaches down to the water.

Exploring Iris Lake

A beautiful lake with steep cliffs and a windy, curvy shoreline, Iris Lake is considered one of the prettiest lakes in this area. From the north end of Iris Lake, hardcore bushwhackers can head deeper into the Hairy Lake Primitive Management Area by bushwhacking out to Ragged Lake and points beyond…

PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
Auk Lake Fool Lake Juniper Lake Plug Lake
Burt Lake Fungus Lake Little Copper Lake Ragged Lake
Din Lake Hairy Lake Lucky Pay Lake Sora Lake
Don Lake Intersection Lake Mass Lake Swollen Ankle Lake
Ell Lake Iris Lake Moth Lake Tame Lake
Fetters Lake Jester Lake Myth Lake Yogi Lake
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