Permits for the BWCA open January 25

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness quota permit reservations system opens for reservations for the 2023 quota season beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 25, according to the Forest Service. The season runs May 1 through September 30.

Visitors taking an overnight paddle or motor, overnight hiking trip, or a motorized day trip into the BWCAW are required to obtain a quota permit. Group sizes are strictly limited to nine people and four watercrafts.

Visitors can book their reservations online at or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

The Forest Service has tips 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

Officials say visitors should remember that 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.

The Forest Service says there is over 1,098,000 acres within the BWCA Wilderness. They stress safety, and suggest to always leave a trip itinerary with family or friends prior to departure. There are also 254 backcountry campsites and other camping areas, outside designated wilderness that require no fees or reservations. For more information, visit the Superior National Forest website.