Elton Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Northeast, 19 rods, to pond, then 19 rods to Little Saganaga
  • Portage East, 150 rods, to Little Saganaga
  • Portage South, 30 rods, to Kallio
  • Portage Southwest, 45 rods, to Makwa


  • Fisher F-12, Little Sag, Tuscarora, Temperance Lakes
  • McKenzie 8, Knife, Kekekabic Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 380126
  • Lake Map No. C2323
  • Lake Table No. 8C
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Elton Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Elton is a moderate-size lake of 123 acres, situated to the southwest of Little Saganaga, 11½ miles SSW of Gunflint Trail's End and 37 miles ENE of Ely.. Nearly 1½ miles from north to south, the otherwise narrow lake opens up into a broad central bay, split by a large penninsula protruding from the eastern shore. At its narrow north end, two 19 rod portages separated by two small ponds connect with Little Sag. Off the eastern shore and just north of the base of the large peninsula a second, much longer portage makes a 150 rod link to Little Sag. At its south end, a 30 rod portage goes south into little Kallio, while to the southwest a 45 rod portage connects with Makwa and the Great Interior Loop route, south to the Kawishiwi; west to Boulder.

The forests surrounding Elton and its neighboring lakes date from a large, stand replacing fire of 1875. None of the forest in this area is more than 125 years old.


Elton has three established campsites, two on the northern arm, staggered on the eastern and western shores. The third is a fine, elevated, if somewhat wind swept, site on the the western end of the large peninsula which extends into the center of the lake.

Planning Considerations

Elton serves to connect the big water complex of Little Saganaga/Gabimichigami with the Great Interior Loop of Boulder, Adams, Makwa, and the Kawishiwi. This area is popular with those willing to portage into the interior of the BWCAW but still only lightly traveled thanks to the distance to the nearest entry points.


Burbot (Lota lota), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), and White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni) may be found in the waters of Elton.

Notes and Comments

Take advantage of Elton's close proximity to the great expanse of Little Sag by camping there the night before crossing the big lake. Little Sag and its many islands are hauntingly beautiful in the early morning mists but much less appealing in the stiff wind and chop of mid afternoon.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004