Boundary Waters
Getting There
Burntside Lake
BSA Base
Amusement Parks
National Parks
Route 66 Cities Beaches

Outpost Tamarack

Boundary Waters

BSA Base
Burntside Lodge
In Town
Other Places
Van Vac

Tamarack Resort is a cabin resort without restaurant. Its location on the southwest corner of the lake puts it closer to the Crab and Slim Lake entries to the Boundary Waters and the North Arm campsites. Since it's right up against the western shore, the wind does not have that long stretch to build, the water tends to be a lot calmer most of the time, and the fishing is correspondingly better. Unlike Van Vac and Burntside, Tamarack's cabins are not lined up along the lakeshore. Only two of them are waterside. The other six perch high on the ridge with impressive views of the lake and its islands and paths and steps down to the water. These are not the classic log cabins from the prewar years. They lose a little nostalgic value, but they tend to be more modern, with hot water, full baths, kitchen with microwaves and stoves inside and Weber grilles outside. Rates run from $500 - $1000 per week. Tamarack rents canoes, motorboats and a pontoon boat, or you can bring your own and use their launching ramp. There's a sauna, laundry room, sandy beach, and screened fish cleaning house. To reach Tamarack, drive out of Ely heading West, look for the sign, and turn right on the gravel road. 3499 Tamarack Lane, PO Box 303, Ely 55731. 877-992-9952.

At Tamarack, we particularly like Spruce Cabin. It is, as you can see at left, right on the water, with a deck view of Tamarack Bay and beyond up the western shore of Burntside Lake. The cabin has nice facilities inside, such as the kitchen shown here at right. It has one bedroom with two singles, but there is a sofa bed out in the living room. For a couple, a family with one or two kids, or a few guys on a fishing or canoeing vacation, this is a very economical alternative in a great location. You could rent this cabin in May for less than $500 a week.
If you like being up high and further into the woods, this is an example of one of their ridgetop cabins. They are a little bigger, holding from six to eight in three or four bedrooms with a combination of bunk beds, king size doubles or sofa foldouts. But you get great lake views, as seen at left, and screened in sitting porches with the feel of a tree house.
Since you're right on the edge of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, you're more likely to see (and hear) wildlife of every sort at Tamarack than anywhere else on the lake. If one of your priorities in coming to Ely is to photograph wildlife, this might be your best location. Since you're further off the paved road and the drive coming in is a little hillier and slower, you'll also have more privacy here. The water is also a little warmer here, since it's a little shallower, so if you have kids who want to swim, this is a nice choice.
You also minimize the daily wind factor here. You can canoe up and down the west coast of the lake to the YMCA Camp and back without hurrying to get off the water by mid afternoon, because tucked right up against the shore as you are, the wind does not have that wide open reach to build speed and kick up waves. This is still a big lake and you'll have some waves, but nothing like you encounter every afternoon in the midlake or eastern stretches. You're also right around the corner from the river outlet, so you could run the river down to Shagawa Lake without the long upwind approach paddle from midlake.
Like Us On Facebook ( To Receive Daily Outdoor Adventure News and Notes And To Comment
This Year's Unique Visitor Tally : 1,003,492 Contact us at Meet our writers at Staff