Big Lake


Big Lake offers an area for fishing, boating and camping. There is a boat ramp and 3 back country campsites on this lake. A 4th campsite located on the west side of the lake is within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, so campers at this site will need to follow BWCAW regulations.

Nearby lake: Agassa Lake.

Downloadable information and map.

At a Glance

Permit Info: None required. Follow Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness regulations when paddling or camping on the west side of the lake. 
Closest Towns: Ely, MN
Water: Boil or filter water.
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: Kawishiwi Ranger District, 218-365-7600

General Information


Big Lake is located 21 miles northwest of Ely on County road 116 (Echo Trail).

  • From Ely take Highway 169 east 1 mile to County road 88.

  • Turn left, go 2 miles to County Road 116 (Echo Trail).

  • Follow County Road 116 for 18 miles.

  • Turn left on Forest Road 1872.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Dispersed Camping

There is 3 back country campsites on this lake outside of the BWCAW.

Please use facilities provided such as fire rings, tent pads, and latrines and pack out garbage. 

Fees: None required.
Reservation info: First-come, first-served. 


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Water Activities

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