Dugout Lake

Making Connections

  • Bushwhack East, 250 rods, to Chad
  • Bushwhack South, 160 rods, to Pine Creek


  • Fisher F-8, Vermilion, Trout Lake, Vermilion River, Bootleg Lake
  • McKenzie No. 15, Trout Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 690451
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 1
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Dugout Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Dugout is a small, relatively shallow lake, 22½ miles SSE of Crane Lake and 20 miles WNW of Ely. Just over ½ mile long and under a ¼ mile wide, Dugout has no apparent surface water inlet or outlet. Nor does have maintained portage access.

The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did hit the Dugout area, with tree loss estimates for the area surrounding the lake pegged at 34% to 66%. The single campsite remains open, though the forest behind it, and north along the shore, was hit hard by the blowdown..


Dugout supports a single established campsite, on its northwestern shore, which has been declared usable by the Forest Service in the aftermath of the blowdowns.

Planning Considerations

Dugout is on the way to nowhere, and unlikely to be a destination in its own right, unless you're camped at Chad and looking for a vigorous afternoon clamber over toppled trees. The same maps which show the Dugout campsite also, significantly, show no indications of an "official" portage. In the aftermath of the storm, any unmaintained portages in the area are likely to have, for all intents and purposes, disappeared. (Until the blowndown timber rots or, more likely, burns, one should give some consideration for the safety of camping in the midst of such a great expanse of firewood).


The 1999 blowdowns took out much, if not most, of the standing timber in a broad area surrounding Dugout. Look for increased numbers of the beneficiaries of such newly opened space - deer, moose, and especially woodpeckers. The huge increase in dead wood brings with it a commensurate increase in insects, particularly beetles, which in turn attract the woodpeckers.

Notes and Comments

If you do get in to Dugout send us a photo. We'll publish it here. (It's the only way most BWCA paddlers will get to see this lake, especially after the blowdowns.)


Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004