Chaco Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Seagull Lake; Saganaga Lake Fishing: Unknown
Maps: Fisher F-19 and McKenzie #26 Lake Depth: Less than 10 feet; MN DNR Lake Map
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 10 acres; MN DNR Lake Map
Campsites: Unknown Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1460 feet
Water Clarity: Unknown Fire History: 1863-64, 1801, 1727 and 1692

Chaco Lake

Have not yet visited this Primitive Management Area lake. The information displayed on this page are notes used for planning a future trip to this area. Use the information on this page at your own risk.

Pitfall Lake PMA

Chaco's are a type of footwear worn by outdoorsy folks. However, somewhat doubtful the lake takes its name from the shoes, but who knows?.

This is a non-descript lake that is about equally accessible from either Ashdick Lake to the north or Ester Lake to the west.

The waters of Chaco Lake flow out toward the south through a very small stream, through several ponds and eventually into Totem Lake. Totem Lake empties into Ester Lake.

Chaco Lake, Link Lake and Totem Lake are the only lakes in the Pitfall Lake Primitive Management Area not impacted by the 2006 Cavity Lake Fire.

A huge fire in 1863 or 1864 known as the Kawishiwi River/Alice Lake/Cypress Lake/Saganaga Lake complex burned the forests in this area.

Just after the turn of the 19th century, in 1801, another fire burned the area stretching from Gabimichigami Lake up through the Saganaga Lake area.

In 1727, area was burned by a fire that covered the region from Amoeber Lake to Sea Gull Lake.

1692 saw another large fire affect this area in what is now the BWCA.

Approach to Chaco Lake

Get into Chaco Lake from either Ashdick Lake or Ester Lake. Head to point on either of those lakes that is closest to Chaco Lake and then charge into the forest.

Bushwhack to Chaco Lake

It may look like a short distance on the map, but the bushwhack into Chaco Lake from either Ester Lake or Ashdick Lake will be mostly through forest without the benefit of a trail. It is doubtful there is any trace of a trail leading to this little lake from either Ester or Ashdick. From Ester Lake, the bushwhack is just under 50 rods. From Ashdick Lake, the bushwhack is perhaps 30 rods. If you opt for the shorter Ashdick Lake bushwhack, you can get into Ashdick Lake from Ester Lake on the nearby portage. Do not underestimate a bushwhack through uncharted forest even though it is only 500 feet or so. It is very easy to get turned around. Use compass, map and/or GPS.

Exploring Chaco Lake

Chaco Lake seems like one of those places you go just to say "Yeah, I was there", or to simply check it off a list. From satellite images, the lake appears shallow and vegetated.

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
Bullfrog Lake Faith Lake Link Lake Pitfall Lake
Chaco Lake Fish Lake Midas Lake Totem Lake
Cup Lake Gift Lake Nawakwa Lake Trust Lake
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