Gull Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 50 rods, to Pietro
  • Portage South, 40 rods, to Gull Creek, then 190 rods West to Bald Eagle


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


  • DNR Lake No. 380590
  • Lake Map No. C1353
  • Lake Table No. 6A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Gull Lake
Scale 1:42840
Full image approximately 4 miles square

Gull Lake, BWCAW, from the Pietro portage


Gull is a relatively large lake in the Kawishiwi River watershed, 9 miles WNW of Forest Center, and 15 miles ESE of Ely. It is situated in the highlands to the northeast of, and 55' above, Bald Eagle. Just over 500 acres and some 2¼ miles from end to end, Gull is a relatively shallow lake, with ¾ of the lake less than 15' deep and a maximum depth of only 31'. Like the other lakes in the area, the water is remarkably clear.

Gull is on the eastern leg of the Clearwater route, connecting Bald Eagle to the southwest, with the Number Lakes to the northeast, by way of Pietro, Camdre, and, of course, Clearwater. A 40 rod portage at the extreme southeastern end of Gull connects with the narrow, slow moving, (and often mosquito infested) Gull Creek and, after a short paddle, the 190 rod portage down into Bald Eagle. (NOTE: If you are using McKenzie map 18, this portage is incorrectly oriented. From Bald Eagle, the trail actually takes a much more easterly tack than is shown, more closely following the contours of the land, and connecting with Gull Creek at a point farther south. USGS and Fisher maps locate this portage more accurately.)

Most of the forest surrounding Gull is some 175 years old, dating back to the fires of 1824, excepting the area west of the Camdre portage and Pangi, which is of younger, 1894 origins. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 had limited impact in the Gull area, though standing tree losses were estimated at 10% to 33% for the area farther south, towards Bald Eagle.


Gull supports five established campsites, three along the northern shore and two on islands off the southern shore. Because through traffic cuts across the far southwest end of the lake, those sites to the northeast provide a measure of isolation from passing travelers.

Planning Considerations

The 190 rod portage out of Bald Eagle is one of the longer, steeper carries in the area. But if you're traveling from the south, the extra effort provides quick relief from the heavily used Bald Eagle -- especially important when seeking out a campsite for the night.


Gull supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Gull is named for the region's noisiest scavenger, often mistakenly referred to as a "sea" gull. In the BWCA, the most frequently encountered species is the Herring Gull (Larus argentatus).

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004