Dispersed Camping

Activity Photo: Dispersed Camping

This page includes information on backcountry campsites, wilderness camping and dispersed camping.

Backcountry Campsites

Backcountry campsites are the same style of campsites you may know from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but since they are not in the BWCAW, they require no permits or fees. These single sites outside of a campground have a fire grate, flat space for a tent, wilderness latrine (an outhouse without the house), and may have as picnic table. There is a group size limit of nine.

  • Please use only the facilities that are provided for fires, tents, and waste. You are not allowed to make additional fire rings, tent pads, trenches, or cat holes.
  • You will need to pack out your garbage.

Backcountry Campsite Recreation Opportunity Guides

Dispersed Camping

If your idea of camping is literally off the beaten trail, most of the Superior National Forest outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is open for dispersed tent camping with no permits or reservations needed. This is camping outside of designated sites - just you and the woods without latrines, fire rings, or any additions. Please follow Leave No Trace ethics to make sure no evidence of your visit remains.

  • Be aware of fire restrictions that apply to campfires outside of developed campsites. In dry conditions, campfires may be banned in the general forest, but still allowed in campgrounds.
  • Parking motor vehicles or trailers is not allowed where it will impede traffic, harm vegetation, or harm soils.
  • You may not cut live trees or construct any “improvements” at your camp, including trenches.
  • Use a camp stove, or disperse all signs of a campfire if you use one. Do not leave a rock ring.
  • You may not leave your camping equipment unattended for more than 24 hours.

Wilderness Camping

Wilderness Camping is camping within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. There are many special considerations for this special place.

Dispersed Camping Areas

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities