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 Name

(Click this link to see BWCA Entry Points sorted by number. 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 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
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Access road off of Forest Road 464. Follow access road to large parking lot.
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
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.
Bower Trout Lake
43
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.
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
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.  
Duncan Lake
60
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.  
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
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
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
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 39 miles from Ely along the Echo Trail just past BWCA Entry Point 9. Restroom.
Little Indian Sioux SOUTH
9
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.
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
Ely; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Small parking lot on either side of road. Accessed from Forest Road 464.
Moose/Portage River NORTH
16
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.
Morgan Lake
45
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).
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
Grand Marais on Hwy. 61; Gunflint Ranger Station Access is just north of T-intersection of Forest Road 152 and Forest Road 325.
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; Kawishiwi Ranger Station on Minnesota Hwy. 1 Sign for the access road along the Echo Trail before the two Little Indian Sioux entry points.
Skipper & Portage Lakes
49
2
     
Slim Lake
6
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.
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.

 
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