BWCA Recent Impacts? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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06/02/2021 01:15PM  
My kids and I are due for a trip up this year but I have been behind on everything. Before I attempt to book anything I'd like to explore the recent impact the closed Canadian boarder has had on the BWCA.

1. Availability of Permits?
2. Availability of Campsites?
3. Fishing Pressure?

We last went up in August of 2019.
Many thanks in advance.
 
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06/02/2021 01:41PM  
Most of your answers can be solved by going to this site and typing in the dates and kind of figuring it out.

For example if I wanted to go in on the 18th I would start looking around the 16th or even earlier to see how many have been taken before that date as well.

By that example a few look decent like Brant, Crocodile, Larch, Magnetic, Meeds, etc. Some that do not look good at all but currently available are Kawishiwi Lake and Brule isn't terrible looking but not great.

Of course that example is mid week but that is kind of how you will answer your question of what is available and how many campsites are likely to be available.

As for the fishing pressure I don't think any of the lakes are really pressured terribly hard so I would personally say that is a non issue.

Best of luck planning for this year :)
straighthairedcurly
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06/02/2021 08:13PM  
In terms of campsites, it will vary a lot by how far away from an entry point you go. There is a lot of pressure on lakes that are 1-3 easy portages away from an entry point unless that entry point is not used much. Plan to camp early afternoon and leave yourself some options. In general, 2020 saw significantly more permits used than 2019 and 2021 is shaping up to be similar to 2020 from the initial data. However, with more activities opening back up that may taper off a bit this summer. But grab a permit sooner rather than later. Your choices are already significantly decreased.
pswith5
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06/03/2021 05:03AM  
I don't think the border closure had nearly the impact the pandemic itself did. Of course the two are connected, but the notion that camping is a safe thing to do is what really drove the frenzy. And yes, I think of it as a frenzy. I saw and heard of many people going to bwcaw without knowing a thing about what they were doing. Will see more of it this year. Not to same degree I think but some.
dschult2
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06/03/2021 09:21PM  
It's really hard to predict that. Too many variables. Like where people are traveling that are already there, base camping or not, and how long they are staying. An entry point could have plenty of permits now but a few days before you go be completely booked. Just reserve a permit for an entry point that looks appealing to you and plan on it being busy. If its not great. I can say that the east side tends to be less busy than the west side. I would look for a site early afternoon and be prepared that you may have to portage in a little further than you may have liked. If you find a really nice site I would consider base camping.
 
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