Mass Lake
» Display Mass Lake Map
» Display scrollable USGS Topo Map of Mass Lake
» Show Simple Mass Lake Map
Nearest Entry Point: Cross Bay River, Round Lake or Sawbill Lake Fishing: Unknown
Maps: Fisher F-12, McKenzie #7 Lake Depth: Unknown
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 60 acres
Campsites: None Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1885 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 1875 (not shown on map yet), 1863-64, 1846 and 1727

Mass Lake

Hairy Lake PMA

One of the larger lakes in the Hairy Lake PMA, Mass Lake gets its name from its sprawling shape consisting of many bays and points. This lake was probably once known as "Iris" Lake like a similarly named lake just to the south in this PMA. This information was discovered on the Minnesota DNR Lake Finder website where the lake is shown as Iris Lake, but has an alternate name noted as Mass Lake. The name was probably changed to its current name in the recent past.

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 (Heinselman, 1999).

Heinselman, Miron, The Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystem (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999).
Pauly, Daniel, Exploring the Boundary Waters (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 329.

Approach to Mass Lake

From Din Lake: It is a mere lift over from Din Lake into Mass Lake.

From Ell Lake: Look for creek that connects the two lakes along the north shoreline of Ell Lake. The creek connects to the lake just west of an exposed rocky area.

Bushwhack to Mass Lake

From Din Lake: The two lakes are connected by a channel. The channel probably has a beaver damsor other blockage, so expect to do a lift over.

From Ell Lake: There is a good chance there is a creek or even a faint trail to follow beginning from the north shore of Ell Lake. Follow it north for about 30 rods to the south end of a peat bog. Cross the peat bog, always staying right as you follow the tree line around toward the east. After about 60 rods, you will have traveled as far east as possible. From this point, bushwhack through the forest for about 10 rods to the shore of Mass Lake.

Exploring Mass Lake

This lake will take a while to thoroughly investigate as it has a very long shoreline as well as a few islands. Also, a narrow and rather long creek flows out of the southeast corner of Mass Lake and winds and wends its way for about two miles to the northernmost shoreline of Frost Lake. Only sections of this creek are navigable, as well as a few ponds along the way; this route would be a strenuous exploratory endeavor if anyone wanted to try to navigate it.

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
- - All Rights Reserved.
All images, videos and text property of - No reuse without permission.