BWCA Entry Permits And Quetico Entry Permits For Your Paddling Trip

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – BWCA entry permits and Quetico entry permits for entry into both canoe wildernesses are controlled by a permit system managed by the forest service, and only a limited number of permits are issued for each day at each entry point. A forest service issued BWCA permit is required to enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. They are issued on a first-come-first-served basis. Therefore it is VERY important that you select your trip dates as early as possible. This will allow you to have your bwca permits reserved and guarantee your group can enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness. Our season, here in Ely, Minnesota, runs from Ice Out (or May 1st whichever is later) until the third Saturday in September.

Obtaining the Right BWCA Permits and Quetico Permits are Key to Your Tripkid fishing in the bwca

People come to the wilderness for many reasons; solitude, exercise, fishing, to see wildlife, adventure, etc. It is important for our staff at Williams and Hall to understand what you want from your wilderness experience. This will allow us to better recommend the boundary water permits that will best suit your needs.

It is very important to understand that all entry points are not created equal, and a great deal of your success will rest upon which forest service permit you to obtain. We spend a lot of time with our guests talking about their trip objectives and offering suggestions on appropriate entry points.

For those who may already be familiar with some of the U.S. and Canadian entry points,  see some entry point travel suggestions here.

BWCA Permits are First Come First Served So Let Williams And Hall Help Secure Your Entry Permits!

Most importantly, we will make all necessary arrangements for you and steer you confidently through this rather involved process…

Camping Permits/Fees [both U.S. and Canadian Trips]: Camping permits, which control your entry date and location must be reserved for your party. One permit is required for every 9 campers. Make your reservation as soon as you have firm trip dates!  Ideally, you should contact us in November or December.

We will make all necessary arrangements for your permits with the U.S. or Canadian officials as soon as your reservation is received. A permit will cost $6.00 (This is a reservation fee charged by the USFS). For U.S. trips, you will also be required to pay a USFS User Fee of $16.00 per adult and $8.00 per youth per trip at the time you reserve your permit.

Canadian Trips/Fees [Canadian trips only]: The user fee in Canada is $21.50 per night per adult (18 +) and $8.50 per night per youth (Canadian Dollars). This fee is paid directly to the Canadian Ranger at Prairie Portage when you enter the park. Since you will be crossing the U.S./Canadian border at an uncontrolled entry point, you must obtain a Remote Area Border Crossing permit (CANPASS).

We will provide all the necessary forms so that you can send your application directly to the Canadian Immigration office. The cost is $30.00 (Canadian Dollars).  When you make a reservation, Parks Ontario (the Canadian reservation organization) will charge your card, $111.00 USD.  This is a $100.00 deposit which is credited toward your final camping permit amount. The $11.00 is a service charge.Boundary Waters Quetico Ely

Different types of boundary water permits

Boundary Waters– While Minnesota fishing licenses are always available at Williams and Hall, they can also be purchased on-line through the DNR

BWCA Permits are also available on-line: Click Here

Quetico Provincial Park Permits. Reserve yours now

Quetico Park- Ontario fishing licenses are available online! To purchase Ontario fishing licenses you can click on the following link: Click Here

**Purchasing Ontario fishing licenses on-line is an easy alternative to purchasing at Prairie Portage. Also, on-line purchases appear to be the best option if entering through the south end of the Park.

CanPass (Remote Area Border Crossing Pass): Click Here

Hint: Always have some flexibility. If you can provide a second and third choice of entry points and entry date, your chances of getting a permit increase exponentially.

Some Things to Remember with your BWCA Permits

Know the Rules [U.S. & Canada]: These are strictly enforced!

  • First of all, the maximum party size per campsite is 9 people in both the BWCAW and Quetico.
  • No cans or bottles, except for fuel or medicine are allowed in either park.
  • No firearms are permitted in the Quetico Park and we strongly discourage their possession in the BWCAW.
  • Finally, dogs are permitted in both parks, however, in Canada, they must have a current rabies certificate.
  • Our season, here in Ely, Minnesota, runs from Ice Out (or May 1st whichever is later) until the third Saturday in September. Plan your trip dates for permits accordingly.


Make Your Reservation With Williams and Hall Today

There may be other boundary water permits you might need. It’s always best to give us a call when setting up your trip to go over your plan so you have all your permits covered. We get BWCA permits for our visitors every day, so why not let us help with stuff we know best. We can help plan your routes and get your permits, all you have to do to get started is contact us at 218.365.5837 or make a reservation with Williams and Hall. Time to start making memories!