RESERVING A PERMIT
Permits are required for all visitors of the BWCA, whether for a day or an overnight. Permits do not reserve a campsite, but rather grant access to a particular entry point. Reservations are not necessary from October 1, 2008 - April 30th, 2009. During this time you may pick up a permit at designated issuing stations the day of or the day before entry. Similarly, during the summer season, day permits can be obtained in the same fashion. In conjunction with the closure of the season, the BWCAW Internet Reservation System is not available as of 5:00 pm CST September 30, 2008. The BWCAW Internet Reservation System will once again become available for on-line Lottery Applications for the 2008 season December 1, 2008.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: www.bwcaw.org will be redirected to www.recreation.gov starting December 1, 2008. You will need to make a new user account.
CANCELLING A PERMIT
You will be able to cancel your reservation online. The $32 use fee deposit will be refunded if a reservation is cancelled two or more days prior to the entry date. If the reservation is not cancelled in time, or the permit is not used, the $32 deposit is not refunded.
PICKING UP A PERMIT
All reserved permits must be picked up at the location specified when the reservation was made, or at a Forest Service office issuing station. Only the trip leader or alternate trip leaders, specified when the reservation was made, can pick up the permit. It is recommended that you list three alternates when you make your reservation - these cannot be added at a later date. The person that picks up the permit must stay with the group for the duration of the trip and ensure that they follow all rules and regulations. The remaining overnight use fee, if any, will be calculated when the permit is issued based on the group size upon arrival. Non-reserved permits, if available, can be picked up at any permit issuing station. However, non-Forest Service permit stations may only accept credit cards for payment. Only Forest Service offices can accept cash and checks in addition to credit card payments. All cards (Interagency Senior/Access Pass Holders, or Seasonal) must be presented at the time of permit pickup to receive a discount, otherwise the full fee will be charged. Non-Forest Service permit issuing stations may charge an issuing service fee up to $2 for each overnight permit. Permits can only be picked up the day before, or the day of entry, by the group leader or alternate leader listed. Office hours vary, check with your permit pickup location for their office hours.
PAYMENTS AND REFUNDS
For groups with fees calculated to be more than $44, the difference will be collected at the time the permit is picked up (cash, check, or credit card at Forest Service offices, credit card-only at non-Forest Service permit issuing stations). For groups with fees calculated to be less than $44, the refund will be made by the BWCAW Reservation Center after the trip has been completed.
A group must have an official tax-exempt status to qualify as a non-profit organization. If your permit reservation is audited, your group must be able to produce a tax-exempt number. All the people on the trip, with the exception of a guide, must be associated with the non-profit organization. Non-profit organizations may reserve as many permits as they like. However, there is a limit of no more than three (3) permits within a permit season to be reserved using the name of any one non-profit organization name as the trip leader instead of a specific person's name as the trip leader. Additional permits can only be reserved under a specific person's name as trip leader.
The only benefit to reserving a permit using a non-profit organization's name as the trip leader is that the permit may then be issued to anyone who can prove affiliation with the organization in the same location. For example, if a permit is reserved with the trip leader name of "Girl Scouts, Troop 16, Chicago" then anyone affiliated with that particular organization may have the permit issued to her/him. When reserving a permit using a non-profit name as the trip leader, the non-profit organization's name, address and a contact person for the organization is required. The representative of the non-profit organization that actually picks up the permit becomes the trip leader, must remain with the group for the duration of the trip, and will be responsible to see that the group follows BWCAW regulations. Please contact the Forest Service office nearest your planned entry point for additional information about reserving permits planning for non-profit organizations .
SEASONAL FEE CARDS
Seasonal Fee Cards may be purchased by mail after December 1 or by phone after February 1 from the BWCAW Reservation Center, or in person after May 1 from any Superior National Forest District Office. This card fulfills the fee requirements for the season but does not eliminate the need for obtaining a BWCAW permit and paying the $12 non-refundable reservation fee and the $44 refundable deposit for reservations. Seasonal Fee applications can be obtained at Superior National Forest Offices or from the BWCAW Reservation Center.
Per Person Per Trip
$8—Golden Age/Access Passport Holders and Senior/Access Pass Holders
Per Person Seasonal
(All seasonal fee card holders must still obtain a BWCAW Permit)
$32—Golden Age or Golden Access Passport Holders
BWCA Online Permit Reservation Center
BWCAW Reservation Center
P.O. Box 462
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
PHONE 1-877-550-6777(Toll Free)
TDD 1-877-TDD-NRRS (Toll Free)
(Feb. 1–Sept. 30)