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Entry into both the BWCAW and the Quetico Park is controlled by permit system, and only a limited number of permits are issued for each day at each entry point. They are issued on a first-come first-served basis. Therefore it is VERY important that you select your trip dates as early as possible. This will allow you to get a permit and guarantee your groups' entry into the wilderness. Our season runs from Ice Out (or May 1st whichever is later) until the third Saturday in September.

People come to the wilderness for many reasons; solitude, exercise, fishing, to see wildlife, adventure, etc. It is important for our staff at Williams and Hall to understand what you want from your wilderness experience. This will allow us to better recommend the entry permit that will best suit your needs. It is very important to understand that all entry points are not created equal, and a great deal of your success will rest upon which permit you obtain. We spend a lot of time with our guests talking about their trip objectives and offering suggestions on appropriate entry points.

For those who may already be familiar with some of the U.S. and Canadian entry points, see our see some entry point travel suggestions here.


We will make all necessary arrangements for you and steer you confidently through this rather involved process...

Camping Permits/Fees [both U.S. and Canadian Trips]: Camping permits, which control your entry date and location must be reserved for your party. One permit is required for each 9 campers. As soon as you have firm trip dates, we encourage you to make your reservation! Ideally, you should contact us in November or December. We will make all necessary arrangements for your permits with the U.S. or Canadian officials as soon as your reservation is received. A permit will cost $6.00 (This is a reservation fee charged by the USFS). For U.S. trips, you will also be required to pay a USFS User Fee of $16.00 per adult and $8.00 per youth per trip at the time you reserve your permit.

Canadian Trips/Fees [Canadian trips only]: The user fee in Canada is $21.50 per night per adult (18 +) and $8.50 per night per youth (Canadian Dollars). This fee is paid directly to the Canadian Ranger at Prairie Portage when you enter the park. Since you will be crossing the U.S./Canadian border at an uncontrolled entry point, you must obtain a Remote Area Border Crossing permit (CANPASS). We will provide all necessary forms so that you can send your application directly to the Canadian Immigration office. The cost is $30.00 (Canadian Dollars).

pdf document
Click here for your Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) permit.

Hint: Always have some flexibility. If you can provide a second and third choice of entry points and entry date, your chances of getting a permit increase exponentially.

Know the Rules [U.S. & Canada]: These are strictly enforced!

  • Maximum party size per campsite is 9 people in both the BWCAW and Quetico.
  • No cans or bottles, except for fuel or medicine are allowed in either park.
  • No firearms are permitted in the Quetico Park and we strongly discourage their possession in the BWCAW.
  • Dogs are permitted in both parks, however, in Canada they must have a current rabies certificate.
  • We are a Cooperator with the USDA Forest Service under the Superior National Forest.  We issue permits into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.  To preserve the wilderness, visitors to the BWCAW must follow certain regulations.  Click on this link to learn the details:  http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/superior/bwcaw.


Look at what we have to offer! As a full service outfitter, we provide a number of services that will make your trip safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable.

Our lakeside lodge can accommodate groups of 1 to 100 with comfortable bunks or double beds. Bathrooms are shared. These accommodations are ideal for first and last night stays. Staying in the lodge means you can roll out of bed and be paddling without long transportation delays in the morning.

Lodging Rates

Private Room (Double Beds)
Private Bunk Room
Group Rate (8+)

$24.00/person ($48 min.)
$17.00/person ($34 min.)

Prepaid Lodging is non-refundable.

Dining Room
Enjoy relaxed lakeside dining in our dining room. Dinner is served at 6:30pm and Breakfast at 7:00am. Meals are Cook's Choice. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice. Prepaid meals are non-refundable. Reservations required for all dining room meals.

A large shower facility is available for our returning guests that wish to wash off some of that trail dust before they depart for home.

Our large sauna is a welcome treat after a long car ride or a canoe trip.

Our guests can safely park their vehicles in our lot while in the woods.

Northwoods Store
Pick-up any last minute items you may need for your trip. Get the hottest lures, live bait and other fishing supplies. You will find plenty of snacks and goodies. Most importantly, we have a full line of souvenirs to help you remember your trip to the Boundary Waters and Quetico Park.

PO Box 358 Ely, MN 55731
(800) 322-5837

Canoe Trip Specialists
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness / Quetico Park Outfitter
Williams and Hall Wilderness Guides and Outfitters
Located on Moose Lake in Ely, Minnesota

© 2011 Williams & Hall