Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Trip Planning Forum
      BWCAW Permit Availability Study March 25, 2019     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

schweady
distinguished member(6910)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/25/2019 08:15PM
I've composed several limited studies on permit reservation demand, mostly for a small subset of EPs and a focused date range, but last April was the first time that I tried to compile a point-in-time snapshot of all permits remaining for the entire season. (A Look Back) That one happened to have been an arbitrarily chosen 11 weeks in, and the effort it took made it unlikely that I would be running it again very often: an hour of copy-paste, more time spent sorting, double-checking, formatting, and a couple more hours of manipulating data and creating image files…

Well, I’ve gotten it down to a 5- or 10-minute process to copy the information on all permits remaining on recreation.gov — 20 pages vs the 700 or so needed to compile last year’s info — and paste it into a spreadsheet that automatically sorts it by EP and creates conditionally formatted color calendars for the 153 days in the reservation season. 63 entry points x 153 dates = 9,639 numbers, representing what’s left of the 41,049 permits offered each year. (It’s actually uploading the images here and getting them into this post that takes the majority of the time…)

It went easily enough that I *hope* to offer this info each month as the season progresses, pulling the data one week before the next month begins. That way, I hope to eliminate skewed assumptions made from data pulled in March or April about light usage in late Aug and Sept, something probably more affected by being so far off that folks haven’t bothered yet to reserve or aren’t worried about finding available dates and EPs. So (hopefully), a similar set of calendars will be coming Apr 24, May 25, Jun 24, Jul 25, and Aug 25.

Why bother? In response, I quote a paragraph from last year’s post: “I have done this on a bit smaller scale each year, never to this extent. I do it, mostly, to satisfy my curiosity about the need to jump in on the reservation at 9:00 am on Day One. Obviously, there is always going to be a day and entry point available somewhere, but if you have your heart set on a particular date at a particular entry, some of the spots might not be there for you after the first day. Or the first hour. Take a look. Perhaps you will find something that adjusts your thinking on the popularity and availability of a particular entry point, or day, or month.”

My results for March 25, 2019 (3 weeks into the reservation period) are below. I hope you'll enjoy exploring the twenty-one pages of stats on the permits remaining at each of the 63 individual entry points and the three summary pages at the end:

 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
cyclones30
distinguished member(2310)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/25/2019 09:01PM
Nice! Puts my tables to shame!

My quick takeaways, Memorial Day weekend looks like the highest demand of the season so far. (But it's also closest date-wise)

Little Gabbro, Mudro, and Lake One look like the most reserved, just as my stuff showed after a single day of reservations.
schweady
distinguished member(6910)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/25/2019 09:37PM
:-) No shaming here. A little curiosity and some effort put into finding answers is always a good thing. Yes, some of the patterns come up year after year. But some still just pop out at you. Like just ONE permit remaining in all of June for Little Gabbro? After just 3 weeks? Yikes. And since when is Thursday the most popular entry day? Oh, only every time I’ve ever run a model...
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2593)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/26/2019 05:47AM
You've been busy. No threat of cabin fever taking over your mind, that's for sure.
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(4217)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/26/2019 07:07AM
I am a stats guy. Those are some serious stats. Thanks for sharing.
gravelroad
distinguished member (300)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/26/2019 09:28AM
Thanks! Right off the bat, the contrast between 34 (Island River) and 35 (Isabella Lake) speaks volumes about who heads to the latter and how much fishing they’re planning to do there from base camps.
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(657)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/26/2019 09:55AM
wow schweady, thanks for putting your mind to this!
ManAndDog
member (31)member
 
03/26/2019 11:52AM
Great information, thanks for sharing
cyclones30
distinguished member(2310)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/26/2019 12:06PM
Was I missing something or is Memorial Weekend containing the most reservations for any single day so far?

Wonder how July 4th will stack up once we're in June though
schweady
distinguished member(6910)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/26/2019 03:38PM
Your eyes do not deceive, cyclones. My conditional formatting formulae were off for many July, August, and September dates, which made your finding much less obvious.

A new summary image is now in the mix, making that Memorial Day weekend stand out quite prominently... 64% of all permits for that Fri+Sat taken.
cyclones30
distinguished member(2310)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/26/2019 09:17PM
Yep, that formatting shows a much smoother transition between weeks and months. Thanks, I was wondering if some of the colors were a bit off.
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(572)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/27/2019 06:24AM
Ooh, I love numbers! This is some beautiful work. Thanks.
jamotrade
distinguished member(1469)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/02/2019 10:35AM
This is great stuff. Thanks!

Does anyone know what percentage of the traffic from the Mudro EP goes up through Horse to Basswood and beyond, compared to how much goes through Boot? We are heading in on 5/30 for some fishing in the Fairy/Gun area. Just trying to get an idea of how far we might have to go to find a site.
Bdubr
distinguished member (182)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/02/2019 11:08AM
jamotrade: "This is great stuff. Thanks!


Does anyone know what percentage of the traffic from the Mudro EP goes up through Horse to Basswood and beyond, compared to how much goes through Boot? We are heading in on 5/30 for some fishing in the Fairy/Gun area. Just trying to get an idea of how far we might have to go to find a site."


I don’t have any percentages but I would say that those who do head towards Fourtown generally stay there and make day trips. Those sites fill up fast, so there’s some overflow into Boot and Gun, but by getting to Gun and beyond it will help your chances for a site significantly. Also, Gull isn’t a bad Lake for fishing and has a couple decent sites. This is not much farther of a push past Gun and could be worth it....just my .02 cents
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next