Shell Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Some of Wisconsin’s best fishing is in the clean, clear water of beautiful Shell Lake. Tucked away in rural northwest Wisconsin, Shell Lake and the city of the same name is a fantastic getaway for the whole family. Shell Lake is in Washburn County. With 961 lakes, the county is 7th in the state for total water surface. Shell Lake is the largest landlocked seepage lake in the entire state. – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Shell Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Shell Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Shell Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Shell Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Shell Lake

Some of Wisconsin’s best fishing is in the clean, clear water of beautiful Shell Lake. Tucked away in rural northwest Wisconsin, Shell Lake and the city of the same name is a fantastic getaway for the whole family.

Shell Lake is in Washburn County. With 961 lakes, the county is 7th in the state for total water surface. Shell Lake is the largest landlocked seepage lake in the entire state. A seepage lake is a natural lake whose only water source is ground water and precipitation. There is no stream inlet or outlet.

The entire lake is with in the city corporate limits of Shell Lake, which is Washburn’s county seat. As the city grew up around the lake and Shell Lake’s shoreline became very developed, the surface around the shore became less permeable. As a result there was more run off causing lake levels to rise. The City of Shell Lake tried unsuccessfully for years to lower that water. Eventually they built a pipeline that siphons water from the bottom of the lake keeping lake levels relatively steady.

There is an advantage to the development around Shell Lake. It is an easily accessible lake with plenty of amenities including restaurants, shopping and accommodations. There are several boat launches although only one is a trailer in launch in an attempt to curtail invasive species. There are quite a few parks, a pavilion, city operated campgrounds and sandy beaches. The City of Shell Lake also has water craft rentals. The lake is a popular place to boat especially with sail boats and there are several regattas held each summer.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources considers Shell Lake an “excellent fishery.” There are healthy populations of walleye, musky, northern pike, several types of pan fish and large mouth and small mouth bass. The Wisconsin DNR also named Shell Lake an Outstanding Resource Water or ORW. Outstanding Resource Water’s receive the highest protection allowed by law and the water running into them is monitored carefully to make sure it does not lower the water quality in the lake.

In addition to playing on the water, there is plenty to do at Shell Lake. It is an easy drive to the Museum of Woodcarving. Holding the largest collection of carvings by an individual, the museum displays the work of Joseph Barta. Sometimes described as walking through a wooden bible, the museum has both life size figures and miniatures made predominately from laminated pine 2 x 4’s. The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is nearby. The riverway is 252 miles of the St. Croix and Namakagon Rivers set aside for recreation and exploration. It is a beautiful way to explore the area by canoe or kayak. Shell Lake is also close to the Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary. The sanctuary is an exceptional place to watch birds and water fowl.

With its clean, clear water, exceptional fishing, and all that the City of Shell Lake has to offer, there is something to please everyone on this unusual lake.

Things to Do at Shell Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hunting
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Shell Lake

  • Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Walleye

All About Shell Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Shell Lake

The Shell 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.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Shell Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Shell Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Shell Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Shell Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Shell Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Shell Lake

Surface Area: 2,580 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,221 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,220 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,222 feet

Average Depth: 23 feet

Maximum Depth: 36 feet

Lake Area-Population: 1,309

Drainage Area: 16 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Shell Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Shell Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Shell Lake photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Shell Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Shell Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Shell Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Shell Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Shell Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Shell Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Shell Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Shell Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Shell Lake forum group? Click Here

New Shell Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi