Crooked Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 90 rods, to Gillis
  • Portage East, 55 rods, to Owl
  • Paddle Southeast to Jerry
  • Portage South, 50 rods, to Tarry


  • Fisher F-12, Little Sag, Tuscarora, Temperance Lakes
  • McKenzie 7, Tuscarora


  • DNR Lake No. 160723
  • Lake Map No. C0254
  • Lake Table No. 8B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Crooked Lake
Scale 1:42840
Full image approximately 4 miles square


Crooked is a moderate-size lake situated 8¼ miles SSW of Gunflint Trail's End and 42½ miles ENE of Ely. Just under 300 acres, it has a crooked shoreline to justify its name, and a number of islands, some of them quite large. While fairly deep, it does seem to have an unusually large number of nearly submerged and barely submerged rocks of some size, at some distance from shore. Due caution is advised. Crooked sits 90 rods and 14' below larger Gillis to the north while a 55 rod portage to the east links it to Owl and beyond to Tuscarora. A southeast arm of the lake becomes Jerry Lake and a 50 rod portage due south connects with Tarry and on to Mora.

The forests ringing Crooked appear to have all burned in the great fire of 1864, with most of the eastern and western shores burning again in 1875. The south shore contains some remnant stands dating from an 1801 fire, mixed in among the 1864 forest. The large islands in the northeastern corner of the lake have additional 1801 remnant stands in and among the younger forest of 1875 origins.


Crooked supports six campsites, three on large islands towards the southern end of the lake, one on the channel to Jerry, one on the northeastern shore, and one on the northeastern shore of the large bay in the northwest corner of the lake. The latter has a fine southern exposure, just right for loafing in the afternoon sun.

Planning Considerations

Crooked sits at the junction of two major routes through this region, that from Gillis south to the Frost River, and the run east from Crooked through Tuscarora to Cross Bay. Crooked has a bit more character than its larger neighbors Gillis and Tuscarora and is a good spot to pitch camp for the night.


Crooked supports White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush), and perhaps Burbot (Lota lota).

Notes and Comments

The islands, islets, and rocks which make Crooked more of a challenge to navigate also make for a very beautiful lake. Do pause long enough to take notice.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004