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Boreal Community Media

BWCAW Quota Permit Reservations Now Available

Jan 26, 2021 03:31PM ● By Editor
Duluth, Minn., January 26, 2021 – Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) quota permit reservations for the 2021 season will be available beginning at 9:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Visitors are encouraged to book their reservations for May 1 through September 30 online at or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

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 strictly limited to nine people and four watercraft. Smaller groups enhance your wilderness experience and chances of seeing wildlife, and decrease both physical and social resource impacts.

Tips and reminders for making a BWCAW quota permit reservation:

• Due to an expected high volume of calls on January 27th, online reservations are recommended to avoid delays. Log in to your account or create a new account before BWCAW Permits go on sale. You can only add a permit to your cart and proceed with your reservation after you are logged in to your account. The latest version of Chrome is recommended for best results.

• One permit per day per permit holder. The Forest Service reserves the right to cancel multiple same-day reservations and overlapping reservations under the same permit holder name. Visitors are allowed up to seven reservations in one cart, and one cart per transaction.

• Recreation fees paid will only be refunded for reservations cancelled two or more days prior to entry date, no exceptions. If you cannot go, please cancel your permit so it may be used by another group.

• Once a permit is placed with a cooperator, the issue station cannot be changed. Check the Cooperators tab on ( to see which issue stations are issuing permits in-person or virtually.

• If a visitor needs to receive a permit via e-mail due to Covid19, they must select an issue station that is “operating virtually.”  Successful trips don’t just happen! They are the result of careful planning.

• All permit holders are required to watch three Leave No Trace (LNT) education videos and review the BWCAW Regulations and Rules prior to receiving their permit.

• Prior to making reservations, review all information in the “Need to Know” and “Fees & Cancellations” sections of the BWCAW permit on Thoroughly review the BWCAW Trip Planning Guide and watch Parts 1 & 2 of the BWCAW Leave No Trace video series prior to picking up a permit.

• Virtual LNT education will be offered every day of the permit season starting April 30. On the week of their entry date, permit holders will receive an e-mail invitation with a link to access the required LNT education online and view the third video. After the LNT requirement has been met, permit holders will receive their permit via email on the entry date or one day prior. Those picking up their permit in-person will view the third LNT educational video on-site.

• The BWCA Wilderness is over 1,098,000 acres in size. Always remember to leave a Trip Itinerary with family or friends prior to departure.

• Carefully consider whether a wilderness trip is the best option for your group. There are 254 backcountry campsites, as well as dispersed camping areas, outside designated wilderness that require no fees or reservations. For more information, visit the Superior National Forest website.


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