Recreation Passes & Permits

Passes: Interagency Pass Picture

Many recreational activities in Superior National Forest are free to the public. Local permits and passes related to recreating on the forest and wilderness.

Hiking and dispersed camping on the Forest is free, and no permit is required, except for in the Boundary waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Some developed recreation areas do have day use fees which help us maintain the sites. We offer a variety of recreational passes and permits.

How to Buy

For your convenience, there are three ways to purchase a recreation pass.

  • Order Interagency Passes through the U.S. Geological Survey online or by phone (888) 275-8747.

  • Order any pass by calling any Superior National Forest office.

  • Interagency Passes can be purchased from other federal agencies. Find one near you.


Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Permits are required year-round for all day and overnight visits to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Different types of permits and related fees may apply, depending on the date, point of entry, mode of travel, and nature of your group. From May 1 through September 30 there is a quota on the number of permits issued for each entry point.

For information on Research Permits for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness visit the "Other Permits" section of the website.


Annual Passes

Good at any Forest Service, National Park, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and US Fish and Wildlife Service sites that charge an entrance or standard amenity fee. Concessionaires may or may not honor any of the Interagency Passes, according to the terms of their current permit.


Lifetime Passes

Available passes that are good for the lifetime of the passholder.


REA Benefits Visitors to Federal Public Lands by:

  • increased field patrols by wilderness rangers/portage crews; wilderness maintenance for trails, portages, campsites; increased visitor contact by interpreters and other education projects;
  • area-specific maps, brochures, travel planners, etc.; specific campsite cleanup and human waste removal; special field projects like boardwalks, weed removal, campsite restoration;
  • volunteers supporting the wilderness program;
  • administration of outfitter guides and cooperators;
  • wilderness character monitoring and possible mitigation actions;
  • safety advisories & training (blow down events, fires, etc.);
  • maintenance of entry point facilities (kiosks) and access to entry points (ramps);
  • permit reservation system support;
  • support of emergency medical and rescue services; and special orders, like fire, or other emergency closures.