Devil’s Lake

Devil’s Lake


Location: Sauk County Map


Description of the Devil's Lake

Devil's Lake is located just two miles south of Baraboo Wisconsin on the South Range of the Baraboo hills. Devil’s lake got it’s name from the Ho- Chunk nation. Native Americans believed that during their rituals a voice was heard coming from a lake. These celebrations are still held annually. At the south end of the lake there is a burial mount in a form of a giant bird that spreads its wings. It is located on the South end of the lake in the beginning of East Bluff trail. Devil’s Lake is part of the Devil’s lake State Park and requires permits for some of the activities like fishing for example. Park’s rock formations are also famous with rock climbers and attract thousands of professionals as well as beginners annually. Ice Age Loop is the only trail that is allowed to bikers. It is 4 miles long. Both North and South ends of the lake have areas for picnics equipped with tables, shelters, lavatories, small food stores and visitor center. Besides several trails of different difficulty go around the lake. It is not recommended for those who might encounter medical complications to take steep approaches like East Bluff, East Bluff Woods or West Bluff trail.


Devils Lake was so named because it is situated in a deep chasm with no visible inlet or outlet. The term, devil's lake is a misinterpretation of the Ho-Chunk name Tawacunchukdah or Da-wa-kah-char-gra, which better translates to "Sacred Lake" or "Spirit Lake." Spirit Lake is highly significant in Ho-Chunk oral history, and voices of spirits were often heard during the celebrations.


Climbing around the Devil's Lake

 Devil’s Lake Map for Climbing

Visitor center
The visitor center houses a three-dimensional model of the park from a top-down view.

Nature center
The exhibits at the park's nature center focus on the geology and natural history of the area. Public nature programs are offered in the summer, as well as evening programs on Saturday nights in the Northern Lights Amphitheater. The nature center also has many historical photographs that come from as far back as the 1800s. They also have many displays of examples of the flora and fauna that can be found throughout the park.