Beth Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage East, 140 rods, to Alton
  • Portage North, 90 rods, to Ella
  • Portage West, 285 rods, to Grace



  • DNR Lake No. 160659
  • Lake Map No. C1624
  • Lake Table No. 9B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Lakes Ella and Beth
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Beth is a small, rather unremarkable 182 acre, very soft-water lake in the Kawishiwi River watershed. About a mile long on its east/west axis and not much more than ¼ mile at its greatest breadth, it has a maximum depth of only 22'. Lake bottom in the shallows is largely boulders, though some shoreline marsh is present along the outlet and the edge of the northwest bay.

The lake sits 140 rods west, and 45' above, the southeast end of Alton with heavily wooded hills rising 250' above its southern shore. At the head of a narrow inlet in its northwestern corner, Beth provides access to the only alternate route on the Lady Chain, the detour north through Ella. And at the west end the main route pushes west to Grace, over a 285 rod relatively level, and relatively mucky, portage.


Beth has four campsites, two near portages.

Planning Considerations

Beth sits astride one of the more popular canoe routes in the BWCAW, the "Lady Chain" of lakes from Polly in the west through Hazel, Knight (?), Phoebe, Grace, Ella, and Beth to Alton/Sawbill in the east. It is a route from which no others branch off so expect to travel in the company of other parties during any of the busier travel periods. And, as always, stop early in the day to get a site.


Beth supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens); also minnows and darters.

Notes and Comments

Notes on Beth Lake, from Brian Johnson:

The portage from Alton to Beth is somewhat like a highway, but Beth is a beautiful lake with a huge population of smallmouth. The fish are not large, but you have a strike on every cast - even on August afternoons. This would be a great place to take kids! All 4 campsites on Beth look decent, and there are some small cliffs (just to the left as you reach the end of the portage from Alton) that are perfect for an afternoon swim.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004