Pagami Lake

Making Connections

  • Bushwhack and Paddle Northeast, 2 miles down Pagami Creek, to Lake One
  • Bushwhack South, 780 rods, up Pagami Creek, to Clearwater


  • Fisher F-4, One, Two, Three, Four, Bald Eagle, Insula Lakes
  • McKenzie 18, Lake One


  • DNR Lake No. 380639
  • Lake Map No. C1729
  • Lake Table No. 6B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Pagami Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Pagami is a small, shallow lake on Pagami Creek, in the Kawishiwi River drainage, 12¾ miles northwest of Forest Center, and 13½ miles due east of Ely. Taking on a crude "L" shape, it is ¾ mile long on its longest dimension, covering 41 acres to a maximum depth of but 7'. Pagami Creek runs for some 5 miles, down from Clearwater, through Pagami Lake, to Lake One on the Kawishiwi. Just below Pagami Lake is the confluence with Weasel Creek which runs in from Weasel Lake which sits just to the east of Pagami.

The forest of the Pagami region is relatively young, having grown up in the aftermath of the fires of 1894. The fires probably spared the area from the logging of the St. Croix Lumber Company which, from 1898 to 1912, cleared the big pines from the unburned forests farther to the north, east, and west. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did no significant damage in the Pagami area.


Pagami supports no established campsites but is located in the Weasel Lake Primitive Management Area. Camping anywhere in the PMA is permitted with a PMA permit, which may be obtained in person at the nearest Superior National Forest Office.

Planning Considerations

Pagami is not on any established routes but is a very tempting destination for those seeking more challenging wilderness travel. It's certainly on our list of most appealing PMA routes. If you go, plan on filtering your water. For the five miles of the Pagami route, including the lake, the water is never deeper than 7'. Mmmm, chunky style.


Pagami is in a remote and boggy area which suggests wolf, moose, and beaver. Be alert and you may be rewarded.

Notes and Comments

If you should travel down Pagami Creek into Lake One be prepared for a shock. The contrast between the Pagami backcountry and the aluminum canoe highway that is Lake One may be one of the most extreme in the BWCA. No matter how tough the going on the creek, the shock of Lake One may just be enough to send you scurrying back up Pagami!

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004