Range Line Lake
Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
13, Lac La
Croix; 14, Loon, Wilkins Bay
- DNR Lake No. 690388
- Lake Map No. N/A
- Lake Table No. 2A
- MDH Fish Consumption
Advisory - N/A
- MPCA Water Quality
Full image approximately 2
Range Line is a modest sized lake at
the head of Range Line Creek, in the Pocket Creek drainage of the
Lac La Croix basin, 13½ miles east
of Crane Lake and 29½ miles NNW of Ely. A large hill rises
some 170' above the western shore while wetter topography predominates to
the northeast and southeast, separated by a smaller, 100' hill along the
middle of the eastern shore. Nearly a mile long, Range Line is connected
by short, 35 rod, bushwhack portages to Achundo
in the south and Lower Range Line, downstream
to the north.
The forests to the south and the west of Range Line are grown up
in the aftermath of the fires of 1894, with small, isolated stands of
1755 vintage. The area to the north and east of the lake presumably
survived the fires of '94 as it was logged off for its pines some 20 years
later by the Virginia and Rainy Lake Lumber Company. 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.
Range Line Lake supports one established
campsite, and a fine one it is, on a point in the north end of the lake.
It probably sees most of its use from backpackers on the Sioux Hustler Hiking
Trail, which passes just behind the site.
Range Line Lake is not particularly accessible
from anywhere, other than the equally remote Lower
Range Line and Achundo. Long bushwhack
paddles up Range Line or Pageant Creeks will get you there, as would a ¾
mile long overland carry from Yodeler in the
south. If you just want to visit and don't plan to continue on, a
hike up the Sioux Hustler Trail without boats from the north end of Hustler
Lake is probably the best bet. The walk up from Hustler makes
for a good afternoon hike, though the trail is only lightly maintained at
this time (1999). There are rock cairns to mark the way, but also
a large number of windfalls to block and hide the path. If you've
the time, however, it is definitely worth the effort.
Looks good on paper - remote, varied habitat,
but who knows?
Notes and Comments
Range Line Lake is named for the quite accidental
fact that it sits astride one of the artificial north/south lines of land
survey practice known as a range line.
Last updated on
11 April, 2004