BWCA Entry Permits

Boundary Waters Canoe Trip Entry Permits & Permit Fees

Entry Permits

A quota entry permit is required for overnight BWCAW trips from May 1 through September 30. The quota system limits how many groups can begin a trip at each of about 70 entry points each day. There are over 70 entry points to the BWCAW and the number of permits available for each entry point varies from only one permit per day to several dozen permits per day. Most entry points have around five to seven entry permits available per day.

Advance entry permit reservations are strongly recommended because of the limited number of quota entry permits. Permits for summer 2018 are currently available on a first-come, first-served basis. The longer you wait to have us reserve your permit the more flexibility you may need to have for your preferred entry point or entry date.

Groups may only enter the BWCAW on the entry date and through the entry point specified on their entry permit. Permits may only be picked up the day before, or the day of, entry, by the trip leader or alternate trip leader designated on the reservation when it was originally made. One permit is valid for a group of up to nine people with up to four watercraft. Permits are not transferable.

Call us at 218-343-7951 for information on permit availability, and we will reserve your entry permit. You can also check permit availability and reserve entry permits at

Non-quota self-issued permits are free and required year-round for day use BWCAW visitors not camping in the Wilderness, and for all overnight visitors entering the BWCAW between October 1 and April 30.

Permit Fees

BWCAW user fees per person per trip:

  • Adult: $16
  • Youth (0-17): $8
  • Interagency Senior/Access Card Holders: $8
  • Youth Access Card Holders: $4

In addition, a nonrefundable USFS permit reservation fee of $10 per permit is required, and we charge a nonrefundable $10 permit acquisition fee for each permit we reserve.