Gun Lake

Making Connections


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


Gun Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Gun is a moderately small, but quite deep lake, on the south shore of Lac La Croix, 13¼ miles ENE of Crane Lake and 33¾ miles NNW of Ely. Its 158 acres drop off rapidly to a maximum depth of 135', with only 24 acres in the shallow, littoral zone (under 15'). The bottom of Gun is largely bedrock, boulders, and rock rubble. The water clarity has been measured at an impressive 18½' with sparse aquatic plant growth.

Out of the north end of the lake, Gun Creek drains into Lac La Croix, a ¼ mile north and some 50' lower. The creek is bypassed by an 80 rod portage on its western bank, which after a relatively level start drops 56' in the remaining 65 rods down to the big lake. Out of the northeast corner, another 80 rod carry heads east, up and over a relatively gentle 30' rise, to Tesaker. Out of the south end of the lake, a 120 rod portage climbs some 77' through a narrow defile before dropping back 47' to Little Beartrack. An 85 rod portage heads west out of the southern bay of Gun to Eugene, picking up 57' of elevation in the first third before leveling off for most of the middle third and dropping 32' in the final stretch.

The forests which ring Gun date from the fires of 1864 with some remnant stands, off the northeastern shore, of 1755 vintage. 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.


Gun supports two established campsites, one on the trigger and another atop the barrel.

Planning Considerations

Gun is an anchor on the Gun/Takucmich loop, which runs from Lac La Croix through Gun, Tesaker, and Takucmich back into Lac La Croix, with spur connections to Trillium and Trygg. It also provides links south, through both Eugene and Little Beartrack, to 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.


Gun supports populations of Burbot (Lota lota), Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens). Note the recommendations of the Minnesota Fish Consumption Advisory for Gun Lake Lake Trout and mercury.

Notes and Comments

It doesn't take too much imagination to see in the shape of Gun Lake a crudely formed pistol pointing north to Lac La Croix.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004