Crossing into the Quetico Park from BWCA


Here’s a fairly naive question for the gallery here. While I’ve traveled the BWCA many times, I’ve as yet to cross over into the Quetico from the BWCA. However all that is about to change. I don’t even carry formal ID on my trips, however in crossing into Canada, I suppose it’s required. What do the wilderness Customs outposts require in terms of ID to cross into Canada in the Quetico? Do you have to have your passport in this more relaxed environment, or can you just carry your drivers license.

I recommend getting and carrying a
passport. They expect it at car crossings now, or so I am told. Back in '73, we got by with just my drivers license, crossing at the island station on Basswood. But that was another day.

RABC permit
There is still a customs Station on Crane Lake, but the stations at Prairie Portage(Basswood) and Saganaga are closed. You can get a Remote Area Border Crossing permit from Canadian Customs. My last permit was good for over a year crossing between the mouth of the Pigeon River on Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods. You need to apply for this well in advance of your trip as it can take 2 months to process.

It sounds like we will need a passport to get back into the US starting in 2007 or 2008(can’t recall). The signs on the roads leaving the boat ramps around Ely and the Gunflint all say you are to report to US Customs upon entering from Canada, but I don’t believe many people ever do this.