BWCA Entry Points

These entry points must be used to enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. You cannot enter the BWCA legally except from these official entry points.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a roadless and unmotorized area.  Therefore, the entry points into the BWCA surround it, along its edges.  Many roads leading to the entry points are forest roads and of packed gravel; some are paved however.  Once at the entry point, there is often a portage of some sort to move your gear from the parking lot down to the water’s edge.  These portages can be trivial to really long.  You must have a permit from the U.S. Forest Service to enter the BWCA and you must enter on the day shown on your permit.  Also, you must enter at one of these entry points.  Note that if you just want to visit for the day (no overnight), you can find a day permit box at each entry point.  Fill out the day permit and carry it with you.  This is all you need to do if you just plan to be here for the day.  Day permits are free.  The permit system is in effect to reduce impact to the wilderness, limit the number of people competing for campsites and to allow for some solitude. Visit the U.S. Forest Service Reservation website to reserve your entry point date.

BWCA Entry Points Map
Click on the active areas of the map above, or click a link in the table below.

Table below shows BWCA Entry Points sorted by Entry Point Number

(Click this link to see BWCA Entry Points sorted by name. Click this link for Quetico Provincial Park Entry Points.)

Note that permit quotas are sometimes revised (permanently or temporarily) depending on conditions in the BWCA.

BWCA Entry Point #
BWCA Entry Point Name
Daily Quota
Nearest Forest Service Office Entry Point Details BWCA Entry Point Signage
1
Trout Lake
14
     
4
Crab Lake
4
     
6
Slim Lake
2
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Somewhat rough one lane road from North Arm Road to entry point parking lot. Parking lot is small and can be tight on busy summer weekends.
7
Big Lake (from)
2
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Across the road from the Stuart River entry point. There is a dock and restroom here.
8
Moose River SOUTH
1
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Small parking lot on either side of road. Accessed from Forest Road 464.
9
Little Indian Sioux SOUTH
1
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 39 miles from Ely along the Echo Trail. Small parking lot. No restroom. Scenic trail to hike along the Little Indian Sioux River.
10
Norway Trail
999
     
11
Blandin Trail
999
     
12
Little Vermillion Lake
6
     
12A
Lac LaCroix ONLY
8
     
14
Little Indian Sioux NORTH
6
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 39 miles from Ely along the Echo Trail just past BWCA Entry Point 9. Restroom.
15
Sioux-Hustler Trail
999
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Sign for the access road along the Echo Trail before the two Little Indian Sioux entry points.
16
Moose/Portage River NORTH
7
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 If you are coming from Ely, this access road is one mile past the eastern turnoff for Forest Road 464. There is a sign at that point showing it is 1 mile further. There is a restroom here.
19
Stuart River
1
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 This entry point involves a 450 rod portage. There are no campsites along the Stuart River until you reach Stuart Lake, so start early.
20
Angleworm Lake
2
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 A two mile portage from the parking lot to Angleworm Lake. Entry Point 20 - Angleworm Lake sign
21
Angleworm Lake Trail
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 This trail is also the same as the Angleworm Lake portage. The trail however circumnavigates Angleworm Lake once it reaches the lake. Entry Point 21 - Angleworm Lake Trail sign
22
Mudro Lake RESTRICTED
2
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 30 rod portage to lake. A permit for this entry point disallows camping on Horse Lake Mudro Lake Entry Point 23
23
Mudro Lake
6
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 30 rod portage to lake Mudro Lake Entry Point BWCA
24
Fall Lake
14
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Campground with a huge parking lot. Entry point can be busy. Close to Ely.
25
Moose Lake
27
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Highest quota entry point for BWCA. Can be very busy. Large parking lot.
26
Wood Lake
2
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Fairly long portage to the lake. Short drive from Ely.
27
Snowbank Lake
8
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Unload gear near lake and launch canoe from dock. Bad entry point if it is windy. Snowbank Lake Entry Point BWCA
28
Snowbank Lake RESTRICTED
1
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Unload gear near lake and launch canoe from dock. Bad entry point if it is windy. You must camp all nights on Snowbank Lake with this permit. Snowbank Lake Entry Point 27
29
North Kawishiwi River
1
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 To reach BWCA, must portage to and pass through Ojibwe Lake and Triangle Lake.
30
Lake One
7
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Nice beach landing area. Paved road all the way to entry point via the Fernberg Road. Lake One Entry Point 30 in BWCA
30F
Lake One (restricted)
7
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Nice beach landing area. Paved road all the way to entry point via the Fernberg Road. Lake One Entry Point 30 in BWCA
31
Farm Lake (from)
3
     
32
South Kawishiwi River
2
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 The 147 rod portage is in good condition. South Kawishiwi River
33
Little Gabbro Lake
2
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Located 6 miles down gravel road from MN Hwy. 1. Portage to lake is 290 rods, but very walkable. Little Gabbro Lake
34
Island River
3
Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 From entry point it is 1.5 miles to Isabella River. Also provides access to pictograph site just outside BWCA. Island River
35
Isabella Lake
3
Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 Area is within the 2011 Pagami Fire zone. Desolate but pretty landscape. Isabella Lake
36
Hog Creek
5
Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 Just up the road from the Kawishiwi Lake Campground. Only route option is to Perent Lake and the Perent River. Hog Creek
37
Kawishiwi Lake
9
Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 The entry point is also the location of the Kawishiwi Lake Campground. It is a fairly long drive on dirt roads out to this entry point and campground. Unload right next to lake.
38
Sawbill Lake
14
Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 You can park near the lake to unload gear. There is a dock here. The parking lot is across the road next to the Sawbill Canoe Outfitters Lodge. Sawbill Lake
39
Baker Lake
3
Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 Next to the Baker Lake Campground.
40
Homer Lake
2
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station This entry point offers relatively few route options. Landing is very good with a cement ramp, sand and smooth gravel. Homer Lake Entry Point 40 in BWCA
41
Brule Lake
7
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station At the end of the Brule Lake Road. Entry point parking lot shared by Brule Lake ONLY #42 and Brule Lake Trail #78. Canoe landing is excellent. Brule Lake Trail Entry Point 41 in BWCA
42
Brule Lake ONLY
3
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station At the end of the Brule Lake Road. Entry point parking lot shared by Brule Lake #41 and Brule Lake Trail #78. Canoe landing is excellent. Must camp all nights on Brule Lake. Entry Point 42 - Brule Lake ONLY sign
43
Bower Trout Lake
1
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Access road just south of T-intersection of Forest Road 152 and Forest Road 325. Access road is 1/2 mile long and fairly rough. Easy 80 rod portage from parking lot to lake.
44
Ram Lake
1
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Access is just north of T-intersection of Forest Road 152 and Forest Road 325.
45
Morgan Lake
1
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Access is about 2 miles north of junction of Forest Road 152 and Forest Road 315 (Lima Grade).  
47
Lizz and Swamp Lakes
4
     
48
Meeds Lake
3
     
49
Skipper & Portage Lakes
2
     
50
Cross Bay Lake
3
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Entry is actually into the Cross River. From the Gunflint Trail, three entry points are available along this road (#50 as wells as #51 Missing Link Lake and #52 Brant Lake just down the road). Road sign for Entry Point 50 - Cross Bay Lake
51
Missing Link Lake
5
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Entry is actually at Round Lake. You must cross Round Lake before portaging into Missing Link Lake. From the Gunflint Trail, three entry points are available along this road (#50 as wells as #51 Missing Link Lake and #52 Brant Lake just down the road). Missing Link Lake
52
Brant Lake
4
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Entry is actually at Round Lake. You must cross Round Lake, West Round Lake and then Edith Lake before portaging into Brant Lake. From the Gunflint Trail, three entry points are available along this road (#50 as wells as #51 Missing Link Lake and #52 Brant Lake just down the road). Brant Lake
54
Seagull Lake
11
     
54A
Seagull Lake ONLY
2
     
55
Saganaga Lake
17
     
55A
Saganaga Lake ONLY
3
     
56
Kekekabic Trail (east)
999
     
57
Magnetic Lake
3
     
58
South Lake
3
     
59
Partridge Lake Trail (also called South Lake Trail)
999
  This is usually referred to as the South Lake Trail.  
60
Duncan Lake
3
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Access is on south side of West Bearskin Lake from the Hungry Jack Lake Road 2.5 miles from its intersection with the Gunflint Trail. You must paddle across West Bearskin Lake to reach Duncan Lake.  
61
Daniels Lake
3
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Access is on south side of West Bearskin Lake from the Hungry Jack Lake Road 2.5 miles from its intersection with the Gunflint Trail. You must paddle across West Bearskin Lake to reach Daniels Lake.  
62
Clearwater Lake
3
     
64
East Bearskin
4
     
66
Crocodile River
1
     
67
Bog Lake
2
Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 This is a rugged portage from the parking lot out to the lake. There are no other routes from Bog Lake. Bog Lake
68
Pine Lake
1
     
69
John Lake
1
     
70
North Fowl Lake
2
     
71
From Canada
3
     
74
Kekekabic Trail (west) / Snowbank Lake Trail
999
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 This is the entry point for both the Kekekabic Trail (heading west) and the Snowbank Lake Trail. The Kekekabic Trail starts across the road.
75
Little Isabella River
1
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Long arduous drive out the the entry point parking lot. Portage to river is an easy 33 rods downhill. Little Isabella River
76
Big Moose Lake Trail
999
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1  
77
South Hegman Lake
1
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station Entry point for visiting the North Hegman Lake pictographs. South Hegman Lake
78
Brule Lake Trail
999
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station At the end of the Brule Lake Road. Entry point parking lot shared by Brule Lake #41 and Brule Lake ONLY #42. Canoe landing is excellent. Actual trailhead is located 1/4 mile down the road from parking lot (you pass it on the way to the parking lot on the right). Brule Lake Trail Entry Point
79
Eagle Mountain Trail
999
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station This place can be very busy on Saturday's Eagle Mountain Trail Entry Point
80
Larch Creek
1
     
81
Border Route Trail (west)
999
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Trailhead on north/east side of County 12 (Gunflint Trail). The trailhead for the Kekekabic Trail (east) is just down the road on other side of highway. This is also the trailhead for the Magnetic Rock Trail.
82
Border Route Trail (center)
999
     
83
Border Route Trail (east)
999
     
84
Snake River
1
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Fairly long drive from Ely with a long period of driving on dirt roads. The final mile is a rugged road. Portage of 198 rods to river is in very good condition. Snake River
86
Powwow Trail
999
Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 Trail severely damaged by 2011 Pagami Creek Fire. Powwow Trail

 
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