Clearwater Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Northeast, 240 rods, to Judd, then 70 rods to Rock Island
  • Portage South, 125 rods, to Camdre
  • Portage Southwest, 200 rods, to Turtle


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


  • DNR Lake No. 380638
  • Lake Map No. C1354
  • Lake Table No. 6B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Clearwater Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square

Clearwater Lake, BWCAW


Clearwater is a relatively large, open lake in the Kawishiwi watershed, 10½ miles WNW of Forest Center, and 14 miles ESE of Ely. Some two miles long, it covers 641 acres with remarkably clear waters, to depths of 46'. Clearwater also marks the head of Pagami Creek, which flows west and north, through Pagami Lake, to Lake One, 5 miles downstream. Clearwater sits at the junction of the western leg of the Clearwater route, up from Bald Eagle by way of Turtle, and the eastern leg, up from Bald Eagle by way of Gull, Camdre, and Pietro. From Clearwater the route heads north and east through Judd and Rock Island to Lake Two.

Heinselman suggests that the forests surrounding and to the north of Clearwater were probably made up of stands of Red and White Pine dating back to 1796 and earlier, before being logged off (1898-1912) by the St. Croix Lumber Company of Winton. The forest just beyond the south shore is unlogged and dates from stand replacing fires in 1824 and 1875. The Clearwater area did sustain some damage in the Fourth of July windstorms of 1999, with standing tree losses estimated at 10% to 33% for the area south and west of the lake as far as Turtle and Gabbro.


Clearwater supports four established campsites, three on the northwestern shore and one on the northeastern.

Planning Considerations

The Clearwater route, connecting Bald Eagle in the south with the Number Lakes to the north is one of very few north/south connecting routes in this part of the BWCA. It is also a worthy destination in its own right. Consider camping at Clearwater or one of its immediate neighbors if your trip takes you through this area.


Clearwater supports populations of Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

As befits its name, the waters of Clearwater are remarkably clear.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004