Canthook Lake

Making Connections

  • Bushwhack Southwest, 280 rods, to Triumph


  • Fisher F-8, Vermilion, Trout Lake, Vermilion River, Bootleg Lake
  • McKenzie No. 15, Trout Lake; No. 16, Burntside Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 690318
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 1
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Canthook Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Canthook is a small, relatively isolated lake in the Little Indian Sioux drainage, 21½ miles southeast of Crane Lake and 18½ miles northwest of Ely. It lies just ¾ mile to the southeast of Bootleg and some 50' above it. Just ½ mile long and narrow, the lake is flanked on three sides by high hills, rising 50' to 100' above the lakeshore. It has no apparent surface water inlet or outlet, only an expanse of boggy ground stretching out to the northeast.

The forests surrounding Canthook burned in the Civil War era fires of 1863-1864, with those to the north burning again in the big 1910 fire. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 blew down trees at several spots along Canthook's western shore. Another blowdown occurred in the area between Canthook and Bootleg.


Canthook is not on any maintained route and supports no established campsites. It is, however, located in the Canthook Lake Primitive Management Area, and so is available for primitive camping by permit.

Planning Considerations

Canthook is located in the Canthook Lake Primitive Management Area, and requires a PMA permit for camping. These can be reserved through, and picked up at, any ranger station in the Superior. Because the PMA has no maintained trails or portages, do take into account the impact of the 1999 blowdowns when planning your trip here.


Notes and Comments

Canthook Lake is named for the old logger's tool, the canthook, a stout wooden lever, having a toe ring and lip at the end, used in rolling logs.


Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004