Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but do you know which of those lakes are the deepest in the entire state?

When it comes to lakes, it's tough to beat us here in Minnesota, right? And while our famous state slogan says there are 10,000 lakes in this land, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) points out that there are actually 11,842 lakes here in the North Star State. (I'm not sure why we don't update that slogan; maybe it's because the slogan 'Land of 11,842 Lakes' isn't as catchy.)

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The Bold North defines a lake as a body of water that is 10 acres or bigger. And the DNR says that Minnesota's 10 largest lakes have a combined surface area of more than 825,000 acres, account for about 40 percent of the annual statewide walleye harvest, and make a significant contribution to the $2.4 billion spent each year on fishing in Minnesota.

So, just which one of Minnesota's 11,842 lakes is the deepest-- and how deep is it? Well, of course, the DEEPEST lake would be Lake Superior. It's the largest freshwater lake in the WORLD, and it's also the deepest-- by a long shot. The Minnesota DNR says Lake Superior reaches a depth of an astounding 1,290 feet.

But Lake Superior isn't located entirely within Minnesota's borders, however. So which inland Minnesota lake *is* the deepest? Again, the answer is a little murky. The Minnesota DNR says Portsmouth Mine Pit located near Crosby, Minnesota is the deepest, at a depth of 450 feet.

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However, it's not a naturally occurring lake-- it's an abandoned mine pit on the Cuyuna Iron Range that filled with water to become a lake, much like Foster-Arend Lake in Rochester also did. (Foster-Arend Lake is a reclaimed gravel pit that was filled with water, but is much more shallow, however, at only 42 feet deep, btw.)

Beautiful Lake Saganga in Cook County would be the next deepest in Minnesota, at 240 feet deep. But it's right on the border and is split between Minnesota and Canada.

So if you want Minnesota's deepest inland, naturally occurring lake, you have to head up to La Salle Lake in Hubbard County. It's about 230 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, and is 213 feet deep.

La Salle Lake
La Salle Lake

Here are the 8 deepest lakes in Minnesota (behind Superior and Saganga) and the county in which they're located:

La Salle LakeHubbard213 feet
Ten MileCass209 feet
Loon LakeCook202 feet
Carlos LakeDouglas163 feet
Rainy LakeSt. Louis161 feet
Leech LakeCass150 feet
Cass LakeBeltrami/Cass120 feet
Otter Tail LakeOtter Tail120 feet

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article included several lakes in the list above that are not among the 10 deepest in Minnesota. The list has been updated.

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