Range Line Lake

Making Connections


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 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
Range Line Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


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.

Planning Considerations

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.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004