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Boundary Waters Canoe Area Reservations - BWCA Permits



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Permits are required year-round for all day and overnight visitors to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  Permits do not reserve a campsite, but rather grant access to a particular entry point.  

Overnight (quota) permits are not necessary from October 1 - April 30th.  During this time you may pick up a day permit (non-quota) at designated issuing stations the day of or the day before entry.  Similarly, during the summer season, day permits can be obtained in the same fashion. 


The permit reservation process starts each year when lottery applications for permit reservations for Fall Lake entry points D (Fall Lake & Beyond) and 24 (Fall Lake) and Moose Lake entry points F (Moose-Newfound-Sucker), G (Moose-Prairie-Basswood) and 25 (Moose Lake). Lottery applications can be submitted online starting from 12:01 am CT on December 17, 2013 to 11:59 pm CT on January 14, 2014. The lottery will run on January 16. 

All other entry points will open for reservations on a first come first serve beginning 9:00 a.m. CT on January 29th, 2014 at 9 a.m.

When making a reservation, you will be asked for the following information:

  • BWCA Entry point

  • Arrival date

  • Estimated exit date

  • Trip Leader's name, address, postal code and telephone number

  • Estimated number of people and watercraft

  • Permit issuing station

  • Method of payment (i.e. credit card number and expiry date)

Reservation Fees:  A $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee is required for each reserved permit.

Use Fees:  A per person user fee is charged for your group when reserving an Overnight Permit for entries from 1st of May to 30th September each year.

Adult $16
Child / Youth $8
Interagency Senior / Access Pass $8
Interagency Youth Access Pass $4

Seasonal Fee Cards:  Seasonal Fee Cards may be purchased in person after May 1 from any Superior National Forest District Office. This card fulfills the fee requirements for the season but does not eliminate the need for obtaining a BWCAW permit and paying the $6 non-refundable reservation fee.

Adult $64
Child / Youth $32
Interagency Senior / Access Pass $32
Interagency Youth Access Pass $16

** Please note that the discounted prices for the seasonal fee cards are only applied at the time of issuing the permit. When making reservations, you will pay for a minimum of 2 adult overnight user fees. Refunds will be applied at the time of permit issuance. ** All cards (Interagency Senior/Access Pass Holders, or Seasonal) must be presented at the time of permit pickup to receive a discount, otherwise the full fee will be charged.


Useful Links for the Boundary Waters
Permit Issuing Stations Rules and Regulations
Restrictions Entry Points
Remote Border Crossing Permits Quetico Permits

BWCA Map Links

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Cross Country Ski  Trail Maps Minnesota Map showing SNF
Hiking Trail Maps SNF Online Map
Minnesota Travel Direction Map Ely Area BWCA Map
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