Gaskin Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 88 rods, to Henson
  • Portage North, 33 rods, to Jump
  • Portage Northeast, 100 rods to Horseshoe
  • Portage South, 60 rods, to Winchell
  • Portage Southwest, 40 rods on old portage, to Larsen


  • Fisher F-13, No. Gunflint Trail, Gunflint, Bearskin Lakes
  • McKenzie 3, Ballclub Lake


Gaskin Lake
Scale 1:42840
Full image approximately 4 miles square


Gaskin is a moderate sized, relatively deep lake in the North Brule drainage, 18¼ miles southeast of Gunflint Trail's End and 59 miles ENE of Ely, one of many long and narrow lakes, with a distinct east/west orientation, which mark this eastern end of the BWCA. Over 2¾ miles long and as much as ½ mile across, Gaskin covers 346 acres, most of it deep water beyond the littoral zone, with a maximum depth of 82'. It contains several larger islands and its 13 miles of shoreline are marked by points and peninsulas. Gaskin drains the Otto Lakes to the west by way of East Otto Creek, one of three small streams entering the west end of Gaskin. Along its southern shore is the mouth of Gaskin Creek, which drops some 30' through a series of ponds in its 1½ mile descent from Winchell. Gaskin's own outlet is along the northeastern shore at the Jump Lake portage, dropping northeast into Allen, bound for the North Brule.

The portage into Jump is a relatively short 33 rods downhill, followed by a quick, ¼ mile paddle across that tiny lake to the 22 rod portage into Allen. Farther along, out of Gaskin's east end, a 102 rod, up-and-over portage strikes out to the northeast, climbing 46' to the crest of the ridge before dropping 53' into the long southwest arm of Horseshoe. At the mouth of Gaskin Creek, along the southern shore, a steeper, 60 rod up-and-over carry heads south, gaining 44' to the ridgetop before decending 71' to the north shore of Winchell. Finally, at the far west end of Gaskin, an 88 portage leads north to Henson, climbing 53' above the lakeshore, before descending 37' to the east end of Henson. In addition to these four established portages, older maps indicate the earlier existence of an approximately 40 rod carry, climbing some 20' to the east end of Larsen, just to the west of Gaskin.


Gaskin supports ten established campsites, well distributed around the lake.

Planning Considerations

Gaskin is one of the more popular lakes in the East End, both as a destination in its own right and as a link to Winchell to the south, and big Brule beyond. It also sits at the southern end of the Gaskin/Meeds Loop, which runs north by way of Henson, Pillsbery, and Swallow to Meeds before turning back southward through Caribou, Horseshoe, and Allen to Gaskin. If you don't like crowds, though, save Gaskin for the less popular travel periods.


Gaskin supports populations of Burbot (Lota lota), Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), and White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni).

Notes and Comments

Gaskin provides several interesting opportunities for exploration and bushwhacking. Consider hunting for the old Larsen Lake portage (If you should find it, we'd like to hear about it.) and exploring Larsen Creek up even so far as Otto. Bushwhack Gaskin Creek the 1½ miles up to Winchell, or consider hiking into Icicle.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004