Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Saskatchewan -

Also known as:  Long Lake

A visit to Regina Saskatchewan wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Last Mountain Lake. The lake was named for a local Cree legend that the Great Spirit scooped out earth to form Last Mountain hill some 12 miles to the west with the resulting hole becoming Last Mountain Lake. The lake is sometimes called Long Lake due to the fact it is about 60 miles long but only two miles wide. At over 57,000 acres, Last Mountain Lake is the largest lake in Saskatchewan; only Lake Diefenbaker (created by damming) is larger. Only 25 miles north of Regina, Last Mountain Lake is a popular destination for local residents and is gaining fans among visitors to the area.

A glacial pothole lake, Last Mountain Lake gained it’s water from melting glacial ice thousands of years ago. Water now enters from Lanigan Creek, the Arm River, Lewis Creek and run-off from the surrounding countryside. At the south end, the lake dwindles to a stream emptying into the Qu’Appelle River. The first recorded European settlement along the lake was a Hudson’s Bay Company complex of four buildings along the south shore in 1869. The Company used the complex for temporary quarters for employees and fur storage in the waning days of the fur trade on the Saskatchewan Plains. One of the employees wrote of seeing, in 1869, the last massive herd of bison on the plains. The complex has been restored and exists for visitors to explore at the Last Mountain House Provincial Park.

To the south of Last Mountain Lake, the small settlement of Regina – once called Pile-Of-Bones – grew. Settlers soon began to farm the fertile plains around the lake. By 1905, a small stern-wheeler named Lady-Of-The-Lake and later, the Qu’Appelle ferried loads of grain, supplies and settlers up and down the lake. The freight was short-lived as the railroad quickly appeared and took over the business. The stern-wheeler continued in operation until 1913 as an excursion boat when it was beached at Silton. In the World War I victory celebration of 1918 it was used to fuel the celebratory bonfire. Small settlements continued to grow along the shoreline, often cottage communities for summer residents. Today, there are about 35 cottage settlements along the shores. Some of the larger ones are Glen Harbour, Alice Beach, Weetoo Beach, Mohr’s Beach, Etter’s Beach, Arlington Beach, Grandview Beach, Colesdale Park, Pelican Pointe, Eldora Beach, Regina Beach, Sunset Cove, Island View, Saskatchewan Beach and Buena Vista. In addition to the cottage communities, Rowans Ravine Provincial Park and three Regional Parks provide plenty of access for day visitors and campers to reach the water. A full service marina is located at the Provincial Park with launch facilities, convenience store and all necessary supplies for a day on the water. Several excellent sandy beaches are located along the lake.

All types of watersports are enjoyed on Last Mountain Lake. Sailing is especially favored as the windy expanse lends itself perfectly to sailing and windsurfing. A local sailing club provides sailing lessons to anyone interested in learning the sport. Several regattas are held annually on the lake. Waterskiing, jet-skiing, tubing, canoeing and kayaking are also popular. Fishing is also extremely popular: outstanding fishing for northern pike, walleye, common carp, and yellow perch keeps bringing visitors back to this prairie oasis. Walleye often top 12 pounds and northern pike over 30 pounds are known to have been caught. Winter brings ice fishermen to the lake for pike and also burbot. Last Mountain Lake supports one of the most productive fish population in Saskatchewan.

Off the water, Last Mountain Lake provides plenty of activities to enjoy nature and the local wildlife. Rowans Ravine Park maintains miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, ball diamond, horseshoe pits, bike trail and beach volleyball nets. A children’s recreation program is in operation for part of the summer. And the northern end of the lake is a National Wildlife Area. Although the south end of the lake is steep slopes and deeper water, the northern end becomes much shallower and contains islands and wetlands that are breeding grounds for many species of migratory birds. Located where two migration paths cross, the area was designated a wildlife protection area before Saskatchewan even became a Province. A wide variety of birds and wildlife inhabit the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area. Many of the birds can be observed at the Last Mountain Bird Observatory. The wildlife area is supplied with hiking trails where visitors can possibly observe white-tailed deer, fox, badger, coyote, and three species of ground squirrel. A number of rare and endangered species use the area at various times during the year include the Burrowing Owl, Ferruginous Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and the Whooping Crane. In winter, the same trails are used for cross-country skiing and certain areas are open to hunting under strict regulation.

For the visitor who desires a more cosmopolitan evening, Regina is a thoroughly modern city in the midst of the Saskatchewan Plains. With art galleries, theaters, museums, shopping and a variety of nightlife and fine dining, the visitor can get their fill of city lights before heading back to Last Mountain Lake.

Vacation rentals of all types are available at Last Mountain Lake. Regina Beach at the lake’s south end often has private cottage rentals available. Bed-and-breakfasts can be located not far away and a few resort cabins may be available. Hotel lodgings can be found near Regina. Real estate is usually available around the lake for those wishing to buy their own piece of lakefront. So, make the trip to Last Mountain Lake and experience for yourself the joys of this oasis on the plains. You’ll want to come back year after year!

Things to do at Last Mountain Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Provincial Park
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Last Mountain Lake

  • Burbot
  • Carp
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Last Mountain Lake Photo Gallery

Last Mountain Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 57,081 acres

Shoreline Length: 135 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,594 feet

Average Depth: 26 feet

Maximum Depth: 98 feet

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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