Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Permit Reservations Available January 29, 2020

Contact(s): Lily Palmer, 218-626-4393

DULUTH, MN, January 15, 2020 – Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) quota permit reservations for the 2020 season will be available beginning at 9:00 a.m. CST on January 29, 2020. Reservations for May 1 through September 30 can be booked using, the online reservation and trip planning service for all federal recreation opportunities, or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

The BWCAW is a unique area located in the northern third of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. It contains over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails and over 2,000 designated campsites. Visitors taking an overnight paddle, motor or hiking trip, or a motorized day trip into the BWCAW between May 1 and September 30 are required to obtain a quota permit. Group sizes are limited to nine people and these smaller group sizes enhance the wilderness experience, chances of seeing wildlife and decrease resource impacts.

Here are a few tips to assist those interested in reserving these popular permits:

  • Visitors are encouraged to have at least three travel options (dates and entry points) in mind and to ensure they have a current account before reserving a permit.
  • The reservation system allows visitors to immediately see how many permit reservations are available at each BWCAW entry point.
  • Streamline your permit reservation and prevent delays at pick-up by adding all group members to your permit. Although group members (other than the group leader and alternate group leaders) may be changed using the “My Reservations” link in after the permit reservation is created, only the group leader and alternate group leaders specified at the time of reservation can pick up the permit.
  • Prior to making reservations, carefully review all information in the “Need to Know” section of the BWCAW Permit on The permit holder and all group members must comply with all BWCAW rules and regulations. Permit reservations may be cancelled for a full or partial refund, minus the six-dollar non-refundable reservation fee. Cancelling your reservation allows others the opportunity to visit the BWCAW. Review the “Fees & Cancellations” section in the BWCAW page for details.

The USDA Forest Service encourages visitors to explore their wilderness area and to remember that a permit is required year-round to enter the BWCAW. Self-Issued permits are required for non-motorized day use visitors year-round and for all overnight visitors entering the BWCAW from October 1 through April 30. Thank you for your continued support and preservation of the BWCAW.


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