Hook Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Northeast, 130 rods, to Rice
  • Portage South, 15 rods, to Keneu
  • Portage Southwest, 520 rods, to Big Rice
  • Portage West, 112 rods, to unnamed pond


  • Fisher F-9, Cummings, Big Moose, Fourtown Lakes
  • McKenzie No. 16, Burntside Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 690182
  • Lake Map No. C0881
  • Lake Table No. 1
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Hook Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Hook is a small, shallow lake on Hook Creek in the Portage River drainage, 28½ miles southeast of Crane Lake and 10¾ miles northwest of Ely. Hook is, indeed, hook-shaped, upsidedown though it may be on our maps, with a ¾ mile hook on a slightly bent, mile long shank. The lake covers only 83 acres, with a maximum depth of only 13'. A small stream enters the south end of the lake from nearby Keneu while Hook Creek departs the north end, bound for Big Rice, 2¼ miles downstream.

The unreliable navigability of Hook Creek, on its meandering course through low and soggy terrain, makes necessary the 520 rod (over 1½ mile) portage between Hook and Big Rice. That portage originates in the western arm of Hook, gaining some 50' of elevation in the first 100 rods or so, then dropping 110' to the southeastern shore of Big Rice. Also from the west end of Hook, a 112 rod portage with a steep, 25' climb in the final 30 rods, leads into an unnamed pond. From the northeast end of Hook, a 130 carry leads to Rice Lake, gaining 23' of elevation in the first 32 rods, then making a long, rolling descent to the lakeshore. Off the south end of Hook, an easy, 15 rod carry along the east bank of the connecting stream climbs 6' into the north end of Keneu.

The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did not significantly affect the Hook Lake area.


Hook supports one established campsite.

Planning Considerations

Hook sits on the Big Lake/Burntside route, which crosses this portion of the BWCAW north/south and border-to-border, running through Big, Lapond, Big Rice, Hook, Rice, and Slim, to Burntside. Hook also provides an opportunity for the more adventuresome to investigate just how navigable Hook Creek might be. (If you do so, let us know how it goes - even if it doesn't).

Hook is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 21.


Hook supports populations of Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

That 112 rod portage off the hook of Hook, up to the little, unnamed pond, is intriguing. Anyone know why such a portage exists? Enquiring minds want to know.


Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004