Beartrack Lake

Making Connections


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 14, Loon, Wilkins Bay


  • DNR Lake No. 690480
  • Lake Map No. C0920
  • Lake Table No. 2B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality
Beartrack Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Beartrack is a smaller, deep lake at the headwaters of Beartrack Creek in the Lac La Croix drainage basin, 13¼ miles ENE of Crane Lake and 33 miles NNW of Ely. Half a mile wide and over ¾ mile long, big Beartrack's 169 acres have a maximum depth 55', with ¾ of the lake bottom deeper than 15'. Out of a shallow, circular bay on Beartrack's eastern shore, a 200 rod portage heads southeast, holding relatively level for 120 rods before dropping 90' into Thumb. A 30 rod carry off the east side leads west to Little Beartrack.

The forests which ring Beartrack Lake have grown up in the aftermath of the great fires of 1864, which burned much of this area south of Lac La Croix. A stretch of the eastern shore burned again in 1894 when fires charred a large area south of Beartrack, most of it burning for the second time in 30 years. This region of the BWCA escaped damage in the 4th of July windstorms of 1999, which caused such extensive tree loss to the south and east.


Beartrack Lake supports three established campsites, all in the north end.

Planning Considerations

Beartrack Lake is a link in the Snow Bay/Pocket Creek route, the arc of which drops south and east out of Snow Bay on Lac La Croix through a string of lakes (North/South, Steep, Eugene, Little Beartrack, Beartrack, and Thumb) before turning northeast at Finger to Pocket, returning to Lac La Croix at the mouth of Pocket Creek.

Beartrack is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 5, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 19.


Beartrack Lake supports populations of Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

With a little imagination, the shape of the lake may be seen as the pawprint of a bear headed south.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004