BWCA Entry Points

These entry points must be used to enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. You cannot enter the BWCA legally from anywhere else other than these official entry points.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a roadless and unmotorized area.  Therefore, the entry points into the BWCAW surround it, along its edges.  Many of the roads leading up to the entry points are forest roads of packed gravel; some are paved however.  Many of the roads are dead ends.  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 map above, or click a link in the table below.

BWCA Entry Points with Overnight Paddle and Overnight Hiking sorted by Name

(Click this link to see BWCA Entry Points sorted by number)

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

BWCA Entry Point Name BWCA Entry # Daily Quota Nearest Forest Service Office Entry Point Details BWCA Entry Point Signage
Angleworm Lake 20 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
Angleworm Lake Trail 21 999 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
Baker Lake 39 3 Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 Next to the Baker Lake Campground.
Big Lake (from) 7 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.
Big Moose Lake Trail 76 999      
Blandin Trail 11 999      
Bog Lake 67 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.
Border Route Trail (center) 82 999      
Border Route Trail (east) 83 999      
Border Route Trail (west) 81 999      
Bower Trout Lake 43 1      
Brant Lake 52 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).
Brule Lake 41 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
Brule Lake ONLY 42 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
Brule Lake Trail 78 999 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
Canada (from) 71 3      
Clearwater Lake 62 3      
Crab Lake 4 4      
Crocodile River 66 1      
Cross Bay Lake 50 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
Daniels Lake 61 3      
Duncan Lake 60 3      
Eagle Mountain Trail 79 999 Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station This place can be very busy on Saturday's Eagle Mountain Trail Entry Point
East Bearskin 64 4      
Fall Lake 24 14 Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Campground with a huge parking lot. Entry point can be busy. Close to Ely.
Farm Lake (from) 31 3      
Hog Creek 36 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.
Homer Lake 40 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
Isabella Lake 35 3 Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 Area is within the 2011 Pagami Fire zone. Desolate but pretty landscape.
Island River 34 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.
John Lake 69 1      
Kawishiwi Lake 37 9 Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 The entry point is also the location of the Kawishiwi Lake Campground. It is a long drive on dirt roads out to this entry point and campground. Unload right next to lake.
Kekekabic Trail (east) 56 999      
Kekekabic Trail (west) / Snowbank Lake Trail 74 999 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.
Lac LaCroix ONLY 12A 8      
Lake One 30 18 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
Lake One (restricted) 30F 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
Larch Creek 80 1      
Little Gabbro Lake 33 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 Indian Sioux NORTH 14 6      
Little Indian Sioux SOUTH 9 1      
Little Isabella River 75 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 Vermillion Lake 12 6      
Lizz and Swamp Lakes 47 4      
Magnetic Lake 57 3      
Meeds Lake 48 3      
Missing Link Lake 51 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).
Moose Lake 25 27 Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Highest quota entry point for BWCA. Can be very busy. Large parking lot.
Moose River SOUTH 8 1      
Moose/Portage River NORTH 16 7      
Morgan Lake 45 1      
Mudro Lake 23 6 Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 30 rod portage to lake Mudro Lake Entry Point BWCA
Mudro Lake RESTRICTED 22 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
North Fowl Lake 70 2      
North Kawishiwi River 29 1 Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 To reach BWCA, must portage to and pass through Ojibwe Lake and Triangle Lake.
Norway Trail 10 999      
Partridge Lake Trail (also called South Lake Trail) 59 999   This is most often called the South Lake Trail.  
Pine Lake 68 1      
Powwow Trail 86 999 Tofte; Tofte Ranger Station on Hwy. 61 Trail severely damaged by 2011 Pagami Creek Fire.
Ram Lake 44 1      
Saganaga Lake 55 17      
Saganaga Lake ONLY 55A 3      
Sawbill Lake 38 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.
Seagull Lake 54 11      
Seagull Lake ONLY 54A 2      
Sioux-Hustler Trail 15 999 Ely; Lac La Croix Ranger Station    
Skipper & Portage Lakes 49 2      
Slim Lake 6 2      
Snake River 84 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.
Snowbank Lake 27 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
Snowbank Lake RESTRICTED 28 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
South Hegman Lake 77 1 Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Entry point for visiting the North Hegman Lake pictographs.
South Kawishiwi River 32 2 Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 The 147 rod portage is in good condition.
South Lake 58 3      
Stuart River 19 1 Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 This entry point involves a 450 rod portage to the river. There are no campsites along the Stuart River until you reach Stuart Lake, so start early.
Trout Lake 1 14      
Wood Lake 26 2 Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Fairly long portage to the lake. Short drive from Ely.

 
PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
2017 - www.BWCAwild.com - All Rights Reserved.
All images, videos and text property of www.BWCAwild.com - No reuse without permission.