Saganaga Lake, Minnesota USA & Ontario Canada

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Saganaga Lake.

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Saganaga Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: Canada - Ontario - USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Northeast -

The 13,832 acres of Saganaga Lake straddle the border of Northeastern Minnesota and Ontario, Canada. Part of the well known Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), Saganaga Lake is also an outdoor playground. Camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing and many other recreational activities await all who venture to the serene waters of Saganaga Lake.

Saganaga Lake often referred as “Sag Lake” has been around for thousands of years and was formed by melting glaciers. With a maximum depth of 280 feet, Saganaga Lake is one of the deepest natural lakes in Minnesota. Saganaga Lake is cradled in the Superior National Forest on the United States side, while the northwestern side of the lake is home to Quetico Provincial Park.

The Superior National Forest is one of the most visited national forest in the nation; it features over 445,000 acres that include forest, streams, and lakes. Anglers can cast in their line for many fish species in Saganaga Lake and many of the other lakes in the national forest. These fish species include walleye, smallmouth bass, lake whitefish, lake trout, and northern pike. The forest is filled with pine, spruce and fir trees and is home to an abundance of wildlife. Nature observers may spot deer, moose, black bear, and even the gray wolf as they camp or hike in the forest. Superior National Forest offers remote camping experiences with spectacular scenic views. Visitors of the national forest can take pleasure in riding mountain bikes, horses, or ATVs or take a quite refreshing hike. In the winter, with a fresh covering of snow, visitors can enjoy snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and dog sledding.

Quetico Provincial Park is a protected wilderness that can only be reached by canoe or by car through the Dawson Trail Campground and Lac la Croix Ranger Station. Quetico Provincial Park covers 1.2 million acres with the southeastern portion sharing the shoreline of Saganaga Lake. Canoeists traveling along the networks of lakes in the Quetico Provincial Park may spot a bald eagle soaring overhead or catch a glimpse of beaver or otter on the banks. Other activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing. Snowmobiles are not allowed in the provincial park since there are no groomed trails.

One of the most popular activities on Saganaga Lake is canoeing since it is a part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Once named the Superior Roadless Area, the BWCA now provides over 1,500 miles of canoe routes on more than 1,000 lakes, with Saganaga Lake being one of the largest. After a day of canoeing, hunting, or fishing, weary sports lovers can curl up by a warm fire in one of the many vacation rentals, cabins, lodges, and retreats located around Saganaga Lake.

Visitors who take pleasure in scenic drives can travel to Saganaga Lake on the Gunflint Trail. The trail begins in Grand Marais, Minnesota and winds its way through the beautiful forest of aspen and pine trees that are plentiful along the lakes shores. Once at Saganaga Lake, the wilderness setting will leave visitors feeling soothed and relaxed. Guests can listen to the call of a gray wolf, or watch the waters of Saganaga Lake glisten in the moonlight while sitting on the decks of their rented cabins.

Custom Saganaga Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Saganaga Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Provincial Park
  • National Forest
  • Playground

Fish species found at Saganaga Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Whitefish

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Saganaga Lake

The Saganaga Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Saganaga Lake photo gallery

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Saganaga Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 13,832 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,432 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,429 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,435 feet

Maximum Depth: 280 feet

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