The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness encompasses over 1,000,000 acres of wilderness and over 1,000 crystal clear lakes. It is the only waterways wilderness in our national wilderness system and is considered by many to have the ultimate canoe trips
. Most canoeing
is on lakes with reasonable portages between them--there are very few white water opportunities.
Most of the wilderness is restricted to paddle canoeing only, and remains much as it has been for centuries. Designated camp sites are scattered through the area, all with a wilderness latrine and fire grate, and are generally located out of site of other campers. The fishing is great for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and some lake trout. Wildlife abounds-such as moose, deer, beaver, mink, fox, otters, and black bear. The wilderness is part of the northern Boreal forest and has unique birds native to the area.
If you adapt to the rhythems of nature, sunrise is early and a beautiful time of day to rise and shine. Cook up a nice hot breakfast over your campfire and plan your day of travel or exploring on nearby lakes. (You have over 50 canoe routes to choose from when you plan your trip initially). Load up your canoe with your lunch, camera, fishing tackle and day pack and head out to explore new waters and sights--see if you can spot a moose feeding in a shallow bay, catch a glimpse of a family of otters playing, or watch a bald eagle soaring as it looks for breakfast. Head back to your camp site by mid afternoon for a refreshing swim before starting your dinner. If you did some fishing a tasty walleye might compliment your dinner along with whatever else you brought to eat. Remember, there are no cans or bottles allowed into the BWCA, so most food items are dehydrated. After dinner sit around and enjoy the campfire and listen to the noises of the forest-the wind singing in the trees, the last scurrying about of the squirrels, or a splash of a feeding bass. Come dark it is time to turn in for a good nights sleep in your tent.
Age range, type of group
Most age groups can find a very comfortable trip (both length and difficulty) since there are so many route choices to pick from. Young children are easier if they are potty trained, but overall the BWCA is a wonderful place for children to explore new sights, sounds and experiences and learn from. Youth groups are welcome, although the maximum party size is 9 people. Paddling distances can be planning to fit your skill level and ambition. Portages are generally fairly short in the Gunflint area of the wilderness (usually less than 1/4 mile).
Sleeping and meals
All trips include tent camping with outfitter grade Eureka tents (from 2-6 person sizes), warm sleeping bags, and sleeping pads. Generally breakfasts and dinners are prepared over open campfires, and lunches are planned that do not require cooking. If the season turns dry, the US Forest Service may impliment a fire ban, in which case gas stoves are provided as part of the outfitting equipment. Gas stoves are available for all trips if requested.
Travel into the BWCA is by permit only, as the US Forest Service restricts the number of people entering at each put-in point each day so as to preserve the highest quality wilderness experience. We reserve all the necessary permits for you after reviewing route choices with you. Fishing licenses are available for purchase upon arrival. If you plan a trip into the Canadian wilderness (Quetico Park) you will need a Remote Border Crossing Permit from the Canadian government. We will provide you with the paperwork to submit an application for that permit. It takes about 6 weeks for the Canadians to process this, so you must plan ahead.
Rates & Availability
Complete canoe outfitting rates range from a low of $42.00 per day per person during the first two weeks of May and from Sep 15th on, to a high of $89.00 per day during the peak season of June 8 to August 24.
Packages are available that include your accommodations and meals before and after your canoe trip, along with complete canoe outfitting. An example of that is our Adventure Trip (7 days and 6 nights in total) which has a price of $445.00 per person (with Royalex canoes) to $490.00 (with Kevlar canoes). The sales tax and permits are additional.
- Special Offer