Entry Point 44 - Ram Lake
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Entry Point: Ram Lake #44 Last Visited: August 17, 2020
Maps: Fisher F-13; McKenzie #3 Daily Quota: 1
Fire History:
Nearest Ranger Station: Gunflint Ranger Station, Grand Marais, MN along Hwy. 61 on the North Shore
Portage Length from Parking Lot: 103 rods Restroom at Entry Point: No

Entry Point 44 - Ram Lake

Gunflint Ranger District

BWCA Entry Point 44 - Ram Lake to BWCA Entry Point 45 - Morgan Lake
A challenging one-way route through the Misquah Hills connecting these two entry points.
Difficulty Level: RUGGED

The access road to the Ram Lake parking lot is from Forest Road 152 (also known as the Lima Grade), just north of the T-intersection between Forest Road 152 and South Brule Lake Road (which is Forest Road 325). Forest Road 325 is about 17 miles up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais.

The access road is about 150 feet long and in decent driving condition. Some grass grows up in the middle of the access road and can be fairly tall by late summer, but it won't impede even a low clearance car.

The portage from the parking lot is not easy, as it is uphill almost all the way to the shore of Ram Lake. At the end of the portage you steeply descend a rough hewn rock staircase to the waters edge.

This entry point has limited route opportunities. Heading west from Ram Lake you must travel through Kroft Lake, Rum Lake and Little Trout Lake. All of the portages between these lakes are of above average difficulty. You are traveling through the heart of the Misquah Hills in this region, so there is a lot of elevation gain and loss and the trails are all rocky. This entry point makes for good out-and-back trips.

Ram Lake has two campsites, but they get taken early and often. Ram Lake is a popular lake for both day trippers and those with BWCA permits looking to spend a couple days trying to catch the lakes' lake trout and rainbow trout. It is rare to find a lake with natural lake trout reproduction and that is also stocked with rainbow trout. Note that lake trout aren't really trout, but rather are members of the char species of cold water fish. They are related to brook trout, which are also char. The next opportunity you will have for campsites is on Little Trout Lake. There are three campsites there. All of the campsites on Little Trout Lake are serviceable.

Past Little Trout Lake there is a long and very demanding portage to Misquah Lake. Unless your group is quite hardy, you may want to plan your route to stop at Little Trout Lake and avoid this difficult portage. If you push on to Misquah Lake, it has one campsite. One portage further to the north is Vista Lake. At Vista Lake more route opportunities become available. You will also begin to encounter more paddlers at Vista Lake as you will be joining a much busier route. A good trip option (albeit a tough trip) if you have two vehicles is to park one at Ram Lake and the other vehicle at Morgan Lake.

The entire area is rugged as it lies among the Misquah Hills. These hills are the highest in the state of Minnesota.

Exploring the Entry Point

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Ram Lake Entry Point 1
Junction of the access road to the Ram Lake entry point parking lot and Forest Road 152 (on your right). You are looking toward the northeast.

Ram Lake Entry Point 2
Sign visible from Forest Road 152 indicating that this is the place if you are looking for the Ram Lake entry point.

Ram Lake Entry Point 3
The access road as seen from near its junction at Forest Road 152. It's not very long.

Ram Lake Entry Point 4
The parking lot just as you pull in from the access road.

Ram Lake Entry Point 5
A view of the parking lot from near the bulletin board.

Ram Lake Entry Point 6
The bulletin board is just up the hill from the parking lot. The portage continues beyond the bulletin board on the right side. Ram Lake is a designated trout lake. It is stocked with rainbow trout. The lake also has naturally reproducing lake trout. You need a trout fishing stamp from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to fish it.

The first 15 rods or so is easy, but don't get complacent. It's uphill most of the way after that. It's a tough first portage to start your trip. You eventually come to a rock staircase that descends to the lake shore. The entire portage is somewhat rocky. (See this portage in both directions here.)

Ram Lake Entry Point 7
Many folks have heard of Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota. There is a popular hiking trail to the top of Eagle Mountain in the BWCA. Eagle Mountain is 2,301 feet high. But most people haven't heard of Point 2266. That is the second highest point in Minnesota and it is visible from the Ram Lake entry point portage. Point 2266 is the hill on the far left of your view, which is sort of obscured by bushes ( and about 4 miles away). The hill in the middle is called Point 2238 (about 3.75 miles away). It is the 9th highest point in Minesota. The hill on the right of this view is about 2,160 feet in elevation (it is about 3.5 miles away). If you are heading toward Ram Lake, turn around as you start to near the top of the portage climb and you can see this view. Your view is toward the southeast from here.

Ram Lake Entry Point 8
A slightly "zoomed" image, with Point 2266 (slightly blocked by tree) on the left and Point 2238 on the right. The hill in shadow behind Point 2266 (to its left) is a "sub-peak" that is called Point 2192.

Ram Lake Entry Point 9
Shore of Ram Lake. This is at the bottom of the rock staircase. There is a legde of boulders along the waters edge, so you have to step down to get in the water. The water is shallow and clear with easy footing.

Now that you've reached the shore of the lake, visit: RAM LAKE

Return to List of BWCA Entry Points (sorted by Entry Point Name or by Entry Point #)

PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
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