Triumph Lake

Making Connections

  • Bushwhack West & North, 2.1 miles, down Triumph Creek, to Bootleg
  • Bushwhack Northeast, 280 rods, to Canthook


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


  • DNR Lake No. 690xxx
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 1
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Triumph Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Triumph is a small, relatively shallow lake at the head of Triumph Creek in the Little Indian Sioux drainage, 21¾ miles southeast of Crane Lake and 18½ miles northwest of Ely. Oriented NE/SW along the northwestern edge of steep hills, the lake is ¾ long but fairly narrow. At its southwestern end, Triumph Creek begins its 2 mile run to Bootleg. Along the southern shore, Van Vac Creek drops down the steep hillside from Van Vac Lake, perched on the hill 35' above Triumph and just 350 yards to the southeast.

The forests which grew round Triumph were largely logged off for sawtimber between 1895 and 1915; pines mostly, destined for the sawmills of Tower. Back from the shoreline, beyond the limits of the logging, most of the forests date from the Civil War era fires of 1863-64 which burned so much of this part of the BWCA. The forest in the lowlands to the north of the lake dates back to a major burn in 1755. The high ground to its east burned in 1863-64; that to the west again in 1910. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did little damage to Triumph itself, but caused major tree loss to the south and west of the lake


Triumph is not on any maintained route and supports no established campsites. Its close proximity to Canthook, however, suggests that it may be located in the Canthook Lake Primitive Management Area, and so would be available for primitive camping by permit.

Planning Considerations

Triumph is on the way to nowhere (except the even more remote Van Vac) and an unlikely destination in its own right. With all the downed timber to the southwest, from whence come the prevailing summer winds, a visit to either Triumph or Van Vac in a dry season might be a risky venture, at least until the fuel load declines.


The west end of Triumph opens onto a broad marshy expanse of what is probably very good moose, and thus also wolf, habitat.

Notes and Comments

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

Triumph is sometimes known as Wren Lake.


Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004