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Boreal Community Media

BWCA permits now available online

Jan 18, 2020 10:47AM ● By Editor
Photo:  Ely Echo

From the Ely Echo - January 18, 2020

Boundary Waters Canoe Area quota permit reservations for the 2020 season will be available beginning at 9 a.m. CST on Jan. 29.

Reservations for May 1 through Sept. 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 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 BWCA.

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 BWCA.

Self-issued permits are required for non-motorized day use visitors year-round and for all overnight visitors entering the BWCA from Oct. 1 through April 30.

To read the original article and see related outdoors reporting, follow this link to the Ely Echo website.
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