Camping Permits in Quetico

Ok, so the RABC form was pretty easy to find and complete. However, what kind of permit do you need to camping in Canada in Quetico and where do you get it?


Tricky part.
Rules change: Ask an outfitter, if you are going out of Moose Lake, these guys will help you out with permits, how-to-apply advice, etc:

They are a complete Ely outfitter who also offer tow service and I believe cabins on Moose Lake. Rent something from them or spend first or last night with them. Buy a map from them, have them mark it up with bear problem areas, good fishing spots, etc. Too many people go through Ely and only buy a t-shirt. The outfitters need and deserve our business.

Last eight years I have gone into the western part of Quetico through Lac La Croix, and Zups Resort on Lac La Croix has set me up with permits. (I am going to Kayak (first kayak trip) on Lac La Croix in August while you are on Moose, this year. Check it out on the maps, it should be a great Kayak lake.)

Have fun.

Quetico reservations
If you are outfitting yourself, call 1-888-668-7275 to make a reservation. Reservations cannot be made more than 5 months (to the day) in advance. You need to know the entry point you want, date you want to enter, number of days you will be in the Quetico, and the name of an alternate leader. In short - you need to plan your trip first before you call.

As stated in the previous post, if you are being outfitted, it’s easiest to have the outfitter help plan your route and let them secure your permit.

Quetico Permits
"However, what kind of permit do you need to camping in Canada in Quetico and where do you get it?"

DuluthMosse gave you the number and other info you need to know to apply for the permit. When you apply via telephone, they will tell you other info that you need to know. You will also get a confirmation letter outlining everything you need to know. Things have changed a lot this year, so I may have some of this wrong, but here goes:

You will be able to pick up your permit at the Rangers station at or near the entry point from 8:15 – 4:15. They close for lunch. There will probably be a line so you’ll have to “take a number” and wait. Each group will take a half hour or longer. You will pay your fees and get instructions. You can also buy your fishing license at this time.

Quetico charges a per night per person fee. IMO that can get pretty pricey. That is one of the things that changed this year – it went up, of course. I believe the per night, per person cost is now $18 (Canadian)!!! So two people for a week would cost $252 (Canadian)! You also have to pay a nonrefundable deposit of $100 when you make the reservation.

Be sure to use a to pay for everything credit card to get a good exchange rate.

Use the number Duluth Moose posted for making a reservation. You don’t have to have your whole trip planned, but you will need to know your entry point. Once you have entered through the designated entry point lake, you are free to wander and camp anywhere in Quetico.

fees are given in canadian dollars

Non-refundable reservation fee of $12

Mandatory camping fee deposit to be made at time of reservation is $100

RABC implies entry through Prairie Portage or Cache Bay ? camping fees for non-Canadians are $18 per person per night. If your group size and trip length is big enough, it would be cheaper to use an entry from the north - camping then is $13 per person per night.

Note that there is a large penalty for cancelling a reservation. You can reserve an entry permit up to five months in advance - if you do, and cancel two weeks before that entry date, the penalty is 50% of the $100 deposit. Penalties range from 10% to 50% depending on the amount of time between making and cancelling the reservation. You cannot make changes to a reservation, as to a different entry date or entry point. You would have to cancell the first one, and get a new one.

Fishing licenses can be purchased at the Ranger Stations - 7 day conservation license is $23.50 (I think)

I’m Reminded Again…
…why I stay on the BWCAW side! WW

BWCA & Quetico
Yes BWCA is the place.

Oh ya and don’t forget to ski Vail too!

pay for solitude
I dunno: I am willing to pay for solitude and not having to compete for campsites.

Quetico gets my vote. BWCA is a zoo. Of course if you have the flexibility of travel off season BWCA is pretty nice. But July and August is too populated for me.

If You Know Where and When…
…to go, it doesn’t have to be a “Zoo-like” atmosphere. I agree with you, Kayakmedic, the summer months have gotten a bit more populous than I like at the popular entry points. But I’ve made 30 “Something” trips up there, and with a bit of planning, you CAN get away from the crowds. Also, maybe I’m a bit different since I live on a farm; seeing a few parties a day doesn’t ruin my trip. As for the crack about Vail, naaah Mr.314159, I always liked Cooper near Leadville. I hope you feel better, now. WW

BWCA & Vail
Hey - I’ve heard the same things about Vail-

go at the right time and it’s not too crowded.

I can’t say for sure since Little cottonwood

canyon is just out the door I pretty well

have to suffer with that.

I always think about paddling trips in the

following way - go where you want to go. It’s

always worth the money.

Please, just call me 3.14 for short eh!

Yep $18 bucks a day is prohibitive
$18/day is way too expensive for miles and miles and miles of unspoiled lakes and rivers, waterfalls, deer, moose, world class fishing, bears, the sound of wolves at night, beautiful sunsets,pictographs, clear water, being part of a unique and fantastic ecosystem. Just not worth it.

I Don’t Understand
I stated that I prefer the U.S. side because it’s less expensive and less complicated. Go ahead and make fun of me if you want, I have been making the trek up north 1-3 times a year since '84 and felt I had something to contribute. MY POINT BEING, THE LOGISTICS ARE EASIER ON THIS SIDE OF THE BORDER. Bears, loons, wolves, unspoiled, drinking water lakes, WE HAVE THEM TOO. Too bad some like to turn threads into B&B material! WW

Oh the drama…
It has been entertaining reading all these posts. First let me say that, growing up in CO, Vail is overrated. Great skiing but over priced.

And thanks to everyone for the advice.

not targeted at you w.w.

– Last Updated: Mar-18-05 12:54 AM EST –

Didn't mean to turn this into a BWCA/Quetico debate, sort of like trying to split hairs.

You are right, BWCA is less expensive, less complicated, and more user friendly....

and with proper planning you can escape "crowds", if one can call them crowds. You can escape most everybody with a hard first day of paddling out of the right entry point, even in the first week of August.

I don't know why Quetico makes it complicated. I know they (Canadian Government) want people to use the outfitters based out of Atikoken, so I think they make it tougher and more expensive to go in from Praire portage and Cache Bay.

$18/day canadian is still a bargain for a quality vacation. I know it is only part of a cost for a trip, but I am willing to pay it, and one can forgo some of the complications by handing over some of the logistics to an outfitter.

BTW--In two weeks I'm driving to Frisco CO and staying with my sister where I'll ski a few days at Copper on some employee comp passes she has saved for me. It aint Vail, but it beats the heck out of the mole hills I ski in MN.

Happy skiing and paddling!!

Lifestyle does impact people tolerance
I already live in the woods with few neighbors. I have to agree that some folks who live in the city want complete solitude and the presence of anyone is a deterrent to their expectations.

I however found that the lakes near the entry points and along the boundary were exactly like the lakes at home and why did I drive three days now? I did the BWCA twice. Once in June it was OK but another trip in August was overwhelming near the end of the Gunflint Trail. There were two rangers in boats trying to find out if about 60 people canoeing were permitted. We just ran through BWCA(that was the days of the old Custom station so stuff wasnt so complicated) and up into Quetico by the end of the first day.

Yes I have to agree that finding a few people is a nice thing but when there enough to fuel your competitive drive to get to a campsite first, for me its no fun.

For me $18 a day is fine. For families that same trip could be a financial hardship.