Rose Lake is a breathtaking Boundary Waters lake between the Gunflint Trail and the Canadian Border. It is most easily accessed through the Duncan Lake entry point and if you’re up for a longer portage, take the Daniels Lake entry point. From Duncan Lake, paddlers will descend the Stairway Portage, a rare Boundary Waters portage with wooden stairs next to Rose Falls. Along the portage are multiple hiking trails where visitors can hike up the glacial ridges south of Rose and look out across the lake into Canada. A short hike up those ridges offers some of the most expansive views of the Boundary Waters along the Gunflint Trail. Definitely worth the trip.
The end of the Stairway Portage will put paddlers at the mouth of Rose Falls, which makes for a great fishing spot before paddling further onto the lake. Heading northwest leads to South Lake via Rat Lake and a long winding channel in the western edge of Rose. Keep your eyes peeled in that channel for silver pylons that mark the border between the U.S. and Canada!
Whether for a day paddle or a weekend trip, Rose Lake is a classic stop for newcomers and seasoned BWCA travelers alike. On your next trip up the Gunflint Trail stop by Rose Lake for an unforgettable Boundary Waters experience.