White Iron Lake, Minnesota, USA

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

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White Iron Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Northeast -

White Iron Lake is part of a chain of lakes in St. Louis County, Minnesota that also includes Garden Lake, Farm Lake, and South Farm Lake. Part of the Kawishiwi Watershed, White Iron Lake is owned and controlled by Minnesota Power for electrical production.

White Iron Lake is a premier vacation destination with year round outdoor adventure. Boating, jet skiing, waterskiing, swimming, beaches, canoeing, and kayaking are enjoyed all through the warm weather. During the winter, the frozen lake offers cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and dog sledding across the ice and surrounding area. Fishermen delight in year round fishing with ice fishing opportunities for bluegill, sunfish, crappie, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and walleye. Many current residents were once annual visitors who eventually purchased lakefront real estate to relocate to this outdoor paradise.

White Iron Lake offers a direct entry into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area which offers over 1,500 miles of canoe routes through nearly 1,000 lakes and streams. Paddlers can enter for a leisurely day trip or plan on extended excursions with over 2,000 campsites along the route for those who want a rustic experience. Over the years, lodges, spas, and bed and breakfasts have sprung up along the route to offer a more comfortable night’s accommodations for those who prefer to be pampered before starting on the next leg on their journey. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is part of the Superior National Forest and Bear Island State Forest which provides beautiful shoreline scenery, wildlife activity, and a look into an area that has been virtually untouched since the glaciers carved the route.

Ely, Minnesota has been a tourist destination since the early 1900’s due to the natural beauty of the area, including White Iron Lake and many other lakes. Residents describe their town as on the edge of the wilderness, and take great pride in their lifestyle that has North Country flair. Fishermen have long known about the many lakes of the area that offer ample opportunities for trophy fish of several species, including smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleyes, and lake trout; lakes marked “Canoe Only” provide some of the best and fastest action. Because of the great expanse of outdoor adventure, outfitters, guides, and nature services are plentiful and encourage first time visitors to use their services to make every moment a pleasant memory with their professional touch and secrets to a successful trip. For time in town, allow a few hours to wander through the unique and distinctive shops of Ely for Northwoods furnishings, rugs, wall decor, and souvenirs of your trip.

Winter at White Iron Lake provides pristine scenery for cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, dog sledding, and ice fishing. After dark step outside into the quiet night for a chance to witness the breathtaking color show of the Northern Lights dancing across the sky. No matter which season you choose to visit, vacation rentals and accommodations are plentiful and range from modern resorts, bed and breakfast inns, motels, rental homes, secluded cabins or lodges, houseboat rentals, campgrounds, and RV parks.

White Iron Lake and Ely, Minnesota are an outdoor adventure lover’s prime destination. Whether you choose to paddle, fish, hike, or to do it all, you will not be disappointed with all the prospects available to you. With so much untouched natural beauty to explore, allow yourself some time to just sit back, unwind, listen to the quietness, and breathe in the fresh air. For outdoor life at its finest, come for a visit today.

Custom White Iron Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at White Iron Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Forest
  • National Forest

Fish species found at White Iron Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at White Iron Lake

The White Iron 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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White Iron Lake photo gallery

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White Iron Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Minnesota Power

Surface Area: 3,429 acres

Shoreline Length: 26 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,386 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,382 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,393 feet

Average Depth: 19 feet

Maximum Depth: 47 feet

Drainage Area: 837 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic to eutrophic

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