Explorer Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Snowbank Lake Fishing: Lake Trout; MN DNR Fish Survey
Maps: Fisher F-11 and McKenzie #8, #9 Lake Depth: 75 feet; MN DNR Lake Map 1; MN DNR Lake Map 2
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 52 acres; MN DNR Lake Map 1; MN DNR Lake Map 2
Campsites: One Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1476 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: No fires in recorded history

Explorer 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.

Spider Lake PMA

One of the few PMA lakes to hold lake trout. This lake also has excellent water clarity of over 24 feet. Compare this to Neglige Lake, its neighbor, which has a water clarity of 12 feet. Neglige Lake is stocked with brook trout.

This is an easy lake to reach. There used to be a maintained campsite on its north shore near the portage. There is a trail into this lake of about 30 rods (Pauly, 2005).

According to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fish survey, the lake has a good population of lake trout, although the size of the fish is generally below average. Yellow perch also inhabit the shallow areas of this lake. There are several nice points on the lake that quickly drop off into deep water that may hold the trout. Even though lake trout are called "trout", they are not. Lake trout are part of the char family. Brook trout are also not trout and are also char. You can cross a lake trout with a brook trout to get a hybrid fish called a splake. Splake are sometimes stocked by the DNR because they are fast growing fish and eager biters. Char are only found in cold lakes of the far north, or in very deep lakes further south. The BWCA is on the southern edge of the char's natural range.

There are two survey benchmarks along the north shore of Explorer Lake that were placed on August 10, 1971. If they still exist, they are found as follows. Benchmark #1 is a spike in a red pine that was 15 feet from the edge of the lake on the west side of the old portage trail that used to run between Explorer Lake and Trader Lake. Benchmark #2 is a spike in a six inch D.B.H. (diameter at breast height) tree that is 10 feet from the lake's edge on the west side of a rounded rock point on the northwest side of Explorer Lake. When survey benchmarks are placed in a tree's trunk, they surveyor's usually put two in place in case the tree is destroyed by fire, wind or otherwise. Installing benchmarks in a rock/boulder is more reliable, but not always practical.

Pauly, Daniel, Exploring the Boundary Waters (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 168.

Approach to Explorer Lake

You head into Explorer Lake from Trader Lake.

Bushwhack to Explorer Lake

A short portage/bushwhack from Trader Lake. This used to be a maintained portage. It still gets a fair amount of use, so it is easy to find and follow.

Exploring Explorer Lake

There used to be a campsite on the north shore of this lake. A very small creek flows out of the south side of Explorer Lake and dumps into the three mile long creek that connects Bedford Lake to Ensign Lake. Explorer receives regular visitors so don't count on being the only paddlers here.

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
Bedford Lake Minerva Lake Sedative Creek Solitude Lake
Explorer Lake Neglige Lake Sedative Lake Spider Lake
Grubstake Lake Redface Lake Snatch Lake Three Eagle Lake
Kettle Lake Reflection Lake    
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