Weasel Lake Primitive Management Area
Weasel Lake PMA Map BWCA
Nearest Entry Point: Lake One, Gabbro Lake Number of Lakes in this PMA: 9;
Number of Creeks/Rivers in this PMA: 2
Maps: Fisher F-8, F-9; McKenzie #15, #16 Number of Lakes Visited in this PMA: 6;
Number of Creeks/Rivers Visited in this PMA: 2
Last Visited: July 19, 2014 Number of Zones in PMA: 4

Weasel Lake Primitive Management Area

Lake One and Gabbro Lake provide the access to this primitive management area. The 2011 Pagami Creek Fire began in this PMA and eventually spread over 100,000 acres of the BWCA. Visit the Pagami Creek page for more details. Access to a number of lakes in the Weasel Lake PMA was impacted by this fire. Only Pagami Lake, Carefree Lake, Plukesley Lake, Cortes Lake and Pangi Lake escaped the fire in this PMA.

A number of very old trails crisscross this PMA. Some are shown on maps for the 1950's and 1960's. Little probably remains of any of these old portages and trails. Details of these pathways are shown on the individual lake pages.

The easiest lakes to visit in the Weasel Lake PMA are Pagami Lake and Rock Island Lake. Pagami Lake is accessible via the easily paddled Pagami Creek coming from Lake One. Coming toward Pagami Lake from Clearwater Lake is an entirely different animal; that route is quite difficult. Pagami Creek becomes much harder to navigate a little upstream (south) of Pagami Lake. Rock Island Lake is easily accessed from Lake two along a servicable portage followed by a short paddle along a pretty creek. It is a modest bushwhack over a peat bog from Rock Island Lake to Judd Lake. There used to be a portage from Judd Lake out to Clearwater Lake, but it was damaged heavily by the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire. This 240 rod portage was intact as recently as 2006 (Beymer, 2006). Judd Lake is often not named on many maps, but it is on older maps of the area, especially the Fisher maps. Rock Island Lake, Pagami Lake and Judd Lake all have fishing opportunities. Pagami Lake is an excellent area for viewing moose.

Weasel Lake is approached along Weasel Creek. Weasel Creek has several beaver dams to hop in its lower reaches, but is quite passable. As the forest encroaches on Weasel Creek, you come to a small waterfall. From this waterfall on, Weasel Creek requires a lot of bushwhacking in order to get out to Weasel Lake. Visited this area in 2021. Passage upstream of the waterfall has become more difficult since 2015. A strong windstorm passed through this area in 2016 which toppled a lot of burned tree skeletons. Also, the jack pine are growing briskly which is making passage more difficult.

Both Holiday Lake and Spinnan Lake had almost all of their shorelines burned to the ground in 2011. Therefore, both of these lakes are heavily windswept. Access is via a small creek from Lake Three. Spinnan Lake is a fairly short bushwhack after you leave the creek, but the going is made difficult because you must travel through the recently burned forest which makes for tricky footing given all the downed timber. Holiday Lake is similar and maybe best reached after getting to Spinnan Lake. Janis Lake and Kayoskh Lake are remote lakes beyond Spinnan Lake.

Cortes Lake, Pangi Lake and Phospor Lake are approached from the Gabbro Lake entry point. All of these are standalone lakes. Gabbro Lake provides the best access to Cortes Lake. Pangi Lake and Phospor are accessible from Gull Lake. These are difficult lakes to reach.

Finally, two are lakes worth a visit are Carefree Lake and Plukesley Lake. Both of these lakes are quite scenic. There is a very faint trail leading to through the forest from the west end of Lake One. If you follow this trail, you eventually enter a peat bog. Carefree Lake is across the peat bog. Plukesley Lake is a short portage/bushwhack from Carefree Lake.

Beymer, Robert, Boundary Waters Canoe Area – Volume 1 – Western Region (Berkeley: Wilderness Press, 2006), 186, 219, 233, 240.
Pauly, Daniel, Exploring the Boundary Waters (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 203.

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
Carefree Lake Judd Lake Pangi Lake Spinnan Lake
Cortes Lake Kayoskh Lake Phospor Lake Weasel Creek
Holiday Lake Pagami Creek Plukesley Lake Weasel Lake
Janis Lake Pagami Lake Rock Island Lake  
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