|Permits are required to enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Permits to enter for overnight camping trips are limited, to keep the wilderness from becoming overcrowded. It is a good idea to reserve a permit as soon as your plans are firm.
Day-use permits are required, but are free, unlimited, and self issued at the entry points.
The permit system limits the number of groups allowed to enter the wilderness at each entry point on a given day. If you are unable to enter on the date listed on your permit, the permit is no longer valid. You may remain in the wilderness for as long as you like. You are free to travel anywhere within the wilderness during your stay.
There is a $6 non-refundable fee for reserving a permit and a user fee of $16/adult/trip. Youth that are 17 years and under are $8. Golden Access and Golden Age card holders are also $8. Golden cards are available to disabled and senior citizens at any Forest Service office. When reserving a permit, make your best guess as to the number of people in your group. Changes in group size are made when the permit is picked up. Additional charges or refunds will be charged at the time the permit is picked up.
You can apply for entry permits online at www.recreation.gov or by phone (1-877-444-6777 toll free). Most entry points and dates are available at relatively short notice. You can check permit availability online any time.
If you prefer, Sawbill Canoe Outfitters is happy to reserve a permit for you. Give us a call and we can discuss options and determine availability.
After successfully reserving a permit, you will receive a permit reservation confirmation from the BWCAW Reservation Center. Check it carefully for errors, especially entry point and entry date. If you need to change your entry point and/or entry date, you must reserve a new permit. If you cancel your permit reservation two or more days before your entry date, the user fees will be refunded in full. The $6 reservation fee is non-refundable.
You can arrange to pick your permit up here at Sawbill if that is more convenient for you. The website defaults to the Tofte Ranger District for pickup, but you can select us from the drop-down menu and the permit will be sent here. If you accidentlally have your permit sent elsewhere, we can still issue it here at Sawbill with a quick phone call. It's a good idea to bring your permit confirmation letter with you.