Event date: 1/25/2023 Export event
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Quota Permits on Sale
David Thompson

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Quota Permits on Sale

Availability Begins January 25, 2023

DULUTH, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~  January 18, 2023  (LSNews)  The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) quota permit reservations for the 2023 quota season, May 1 – September 30, will be available beginning at 9:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. Visitors are encouraged to book their reservations online at www.recreation.gov/or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Visitors taking an overnight paddle, overnight motor, overnight 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 watercrafts. Smaller groups enhance your wilderness experience and chances of seeing wildlife, while decreasing both physical and social resource impacts. 

Tips and reminders for making a BWCAW quota permit reservation: 

  • Plan ahead by having at least three travel options (dates and entry points) in mind.
  • Make reservations online to avoid delays. The latest version of Chrome is recommended for best results.
  • Log into your account or create a new account before permits go on sale and refresh your screen at 9:00 a.m. to ensure you are seeing the latest updates on the website. 
  • Prior to making reservations, review all information in the “Need to Know” and “Fees & Cancellations” sections of the BWCAW permit at www.recreation.gov/permits/233396.

Reminders about BWCAW rules and best practices:

  • Issue Stations–Reserved permits must be picked up at the issue station specified on the permit. BWCAW Cooperators can only print permits that are listed with their issue station. Find an issue station near your entry point prior to making a reservation. Check the “Issue Stations” tab for hours and locations. 
  • One permit per day, per permit holder–When a visitor makes multiple reservations on the same entry date or has overlapping reservations, all but one permit will automatically be cancelled by the Forest Service.
  • Alternate Permit Holders–Alternates cannot be added once a reservation has been made. Check the box under a group member’s name to select them as an alternate who can pick up the permit if the permit holder cannot go.
  • Non-profits–·Click for information about reserving BWCAW permits for a non-profit organization.

Successful trips don’t just happen! They are the result of careful planning. 

  • Be vigilant when it comes to food storage in the Wilderness! There are campsites with no viable trees to hang a food pack. Containers listed on the IGBC list are product-tested and found to be resistant to bears. Many BWCAW Cooperators also rent food storage containers. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. See page 23 of the trip planner for an example.
  • 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

BWCAW Recreation.gov URL: www.recreation.gov/

BWCAW permit on Recreation.gov URL: www.recreation.gov/permits/233396

BWCAW Issue Stations: www.recreation.gov/permits/233396

Information about reserving a permit for a non-profit organization URL:


BWCAW Regulation and Rules URL: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/superior/specialplaces/?cid=fseprd852569

IGBC Approved Bear Containers URL: https://igbconline.org/programs/bear-resistant-products/.

Trip Plan Guide URL: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd611535.pdf

BWCAW Leave No Trace User Education Video Series URL: Available on YouTube.com

Backcountry Campsites Outside of Wilderness: www.fs.usda.gov/activity/superior/recreation/camping-cabins/?recid=36905&actid=34

Superior National Forest website URL: www.fs.usda.gov/main/superior/home


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