BWCA Lottery

When do we get the results of this year’s lottery?

If I get my choice, what time does the post open up so you can pick up your permit and get on the water? I believe mine would be Kawishiwi? Not sure.

My first pick was Lake one and my alternative was Snowbank Lake.

What is you favorite BWCA forum web page besides this?


After Jan 21

– Last Updated: Jan-08-08 7:36 AM EST –

As I understand it, the lottery application deadline by fax or mail is this Thursday, Jan 10 and the email application deadline is Jan 15. Then they open up for regular application process (first come - first served) starting on Monday Jan 21. In order to do that, they would have to decide on the lottery issued permits between Jan 15 and Jan 21. Good luck in the lottery.

The only specific BWCA / Quetico bulletin board I go to is for the portage information when heading into Quetico places I have not been to before. But my tripping interests are Quetico and other Canadian canoe parks, rather than the BWCA.

DM has the dates right
When you applied for the permit, you had the option to name your permit issing station – ie the place you pick up your permit. Most people, if using an outfitter select that outfitter. Many still name an outfitter that has operations at or near the entry point. If you selected one of these “Cooperators” you’ll have to check with them for their hours of operations to know when you can pick up your permit. They usually have earlier and later hours than the rangers’ staions.

If you did not select a Cooperator Permit Location, your permit will be at the ranger station for that area. You’re right, for both Lake One and Snowbank it is the Kawishiwi Ranger Station in Ely. They are open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Remember, picking up the permit may take up to an hour (more if there are a few groups ahead of you), and your entire group needs to be there, so plan accordingly.

For websites I like both and

Why do you like Quetico better. Is it a hassle to get into Canada? I would image the fees are higher, not sure.

Why I paddle the Quetico

– Last Updated: Jan-11-08 8:41 AM EST –

I am a canoe tripper traveling almost every day I am on a canoe trip rather than a base camper. I've watched the BWCA and Quetico canoe parks evolve in the 45 years I've been canoe tripping in these places. I've experienced the Quetico in the 60's with virtually no restrictions on entry, general overuse, hard to find an open campsite on the major routes and having to hack out a place to camp for the night was a real possibility, and 3hp outboards on flatback canoes heading into the interior many times towing an additional 2 or 3 canoes behind. I've watched the Quetico restrict outboard motors, changed their fee based structure from a tax on the value of your food to a daily camping fee, close their on-site Canadian Customs Offices in lieu of mandating the remote boarder crossing permit system, and greatly restricting entry through their permit system. Another evolution has been from providing virtually no portage maintenance in the 60's and 70's, to providing excellent maintenance service now because of the imposed fee structure.

On the other hand I believed the interior of the BWCA was the better place to trip back in the 60's and 70's - less people than the Quetico, camp anywhere, didn't have to pay the tax on food!! or any fee for that matter. But since that time there has been more and more people wanting their piece of the BWCA. Management of this place has evolved to accommodate the crowds; and in my opinion the place has now become a canoeing theme park for base campers.

I like where the Quetico has headed over the years, and the BWCA has gone the other direction for me. Sure the daily camping fee for the Quetico is high and the RBCP is a hassel - but this is the current cost of a high quality canoe tripping experience where I know I will find solitude, where I know the portage crew has been through in the last month even if I'm back in the most remote spot in the park, and where I can expect to find an open campsite when I am tired at the end of a 20 mile day. You can find solitude in your canoeing elsewhere in Canada, but it usually involves a $1000 or more float plane ride. I can't find it in the BWCA anymore.

See this years fee increase yet
It’s up to $20/person/night…


– Last Updated: Jan-12-08 8:40 AM EST –

Yes it is a high price to pay. But my perspectives are: Ones's allotted timespan of life spent on extended canoe trips is short. With this in mind its pennies more to go first class....

Put me down for the next trip to Quetico.

Can’t argue with…
I can’t argue with the sentiment, but I’ve never found the Q much higher quality than the BWCA. To me, it seems like much the same experience. Especially considering that a 10 day trip there for my significant other and I is more than half a month of rent. The money saved by heading a few more hours to Woodland more than makes up for the extra gas money spent.

Woodland Caribou

– Last Updated: Jan-13-08 9:12 PM EST –

Was in Woodland Caribou in Sept 2006. Nice place, but different than the BWCA / Quetico. You will be hard pressed to save enough on Quetico fees to cover gas for a WC trip. In 2006 the daily camping fees for WC were $14 / person / night for non-residents; just a $4 difference from the Quetico Prairie Portage access fees at that time. If you are willing to risk your tires on the blasted granite shards that parts of the 40 mile access road are built from, then you might have a chance to break even on gas from Grand Marais up and back, unless you knock a hole in your gas tank. But if you arrange for a shuttle both ways to save your vehicle, then you just blew your budget out of the water. Actually the best way to see WC is to rent a single engine otter and fly way the heck into the park and paddle out. But I won't mention how much that will run you....


– Last Updated: Jan-14-08 12:20 AM EST –

I meant to write Wabakimi and not Woodland - I was thinking of both, but I've never been to Woodland, so I'm a bit jealous. Anyway, heading to Wabakimi, which offers an experience similar to Q/BWCA we'd save about $120 in park fees, which is more than enough to pay for the $35US in gas that it would cost me to drive there assuming, of course, that I fill up at Grand Portage. Still expensive for us though at just under a half month's rent, and about $250 more than it would cost us to head into the BWCA, which offers pretty much the same experience as Q and close to Wabakimi, especially when tripping in the shoulder seasons, which is when I can.

Q or B?
I was planning to do a 35 day trip into the Quetico but with $20 per night per person that would be about $1400.00 to sleep on the ground!!! Are you crazy? That doesnt include the entry fee and a couple other fees etc.

SOooooooo- I opted to do the whole trip in the BWCA for sept-october and will only pay about 35 in fees total…much cheaper!!


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