Main Red Door Resort Ice Road

Mille Lacs Lake Ice Report 12/29/2021

No Wheelhouses Yet. Initial Roads Established and First Rental on the Lake

The Red Door Resort access remains open to snowmobiles, ATVs and side by sides and we currently anticipate the same for this coming weekend.

Recent Weather Impact

From last Sunday to Monday the resort received 12 inches of snow and then it snowed again on Tuesday adding additional 4 inches of accumulation and bringing the weekly snow total to 16 inches.  The ice was progressing nicely prior to the dump and we were finding at least 11+ inches on the first and second break.   Though the snow was fairly light and fluffy, the main worries are now twofold: (1) the additional snow will provide significant insulation and slow, or possibly even stop, ice making on the lake, and (2) the weight of the snow will cause cracks with the water pushing up through the newly formed openings creating significant flooding and slush.  (Flooding is may also occur when anglers are drilling holes.)

Road Plowing Underway

Today marked the first day the Ice Team drove a lake truck on the hard water.  The team cleared a 50’ wide trunk road out past the first and second breaks and cleared an initial road along the deep side of the East second break.  The initial plowed roads are far from perfect but are a starting point; hopefully the cleared snow will allow for more ice to build and provide a foothold for further road expansion.  It’s worth noting that most of the areas plowed today did not have pockets of slush.  That said, there is a section approximately 100 yards from shore that has significant slush but passable.   As weather and conditions allow the Ice Team will continue to work on the road network.

Rentals on the Lake

The Ice Team was also able to put our first fish house rental on the lake (see photos below).  Unless something changes, all five of our wheelhouse rentals and our currently rented skid houses will be on the lake prior to new year’s weekend.  We do still have a couple of wheelhouses available if you want to bring in 2022 with an eye on a rattle reel.

Weather Outlook

Temperatures dropped precipitously since yesterday and are predicted to remain chilly for the new few days.  The highs on Saturday and Sunday are expected to be around 0 degrees with lows around negative 20 degrees.  Wind speeds and gusts shouldn’t be too bad being mostly in the single digits and teens, respectively.  Fortunately, the chances of additional precipitation are predicted to be low.

Even though the various weather factors are not as bad as they could be, the 20+ degree daily temperature swings could create some significant ice expansion and contraction on the lake.  Cracking and heaving is a prominent risk this weekend.

Plan Accordingly This Weekend

If you are heading out of the Red Door access and on to Mille Lacs this weekend, please:

– Dress warm as it will be cold and appropriate attire is essential

– Wear water resistant gear, especially waterproof boots. The snow weight could create flooding on the ice, so expect some pooling water and slush

– Bring an ATV, Side by Side or snowmobile. Though we have a trunk road, travel off of the road on foot could make some tough sled pulling

From all of us at the Red Door Resort, Happy New Year!  We look forward to hosting you on the north side of Mille Lacs.

Mille Lacs Lake Side House Lake Bound
Red Door Fish House Rental Placed on Second Break

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