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member (35)member
01/18/2022 04:08PM  
I’m planning my first trip to the BWCA and I just want to make sure I’m clear on the permitting process.
I have the following:
4 Entry point/route options
A range of entry dates that work for my group
Group leader and alternate
Plan to pick up permit in Ely
A credit card
A account

Is there anything else I need before January 26th to apply for a permit? When you are using the site does it show the actual number of permits still available for a given entry point on a given day and if so do you just select it and purchase it?

I live in Alaska so the wilderness travel isn’t new to me but I have no frame of reference for going through the permitting process. It’s my understanding that permits can be difficult to secure and I just don’t want goof up when the permits become available. We’ll be brining most of our own gear from Alaska but I do plan on renting canoes from an outfitter.

Does anyone have any suggestions or other insight?

Thanks for the help
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member (15)member
01/18/2022 04:54PM  
Sounds like you are well prepared for getting your permits as soon as they are available! Yes, the website will show you exactly how many permits are remaining for each calendar date and you will simply select an open one that works for you, then enter your information and pay for the reservation.

member (35)member
01/18/2022 05:30PM  
Thank you Samantha!
distinguished member(7775)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
01/18/2022 05:37PM  
You may want to set an alarm: online permit reservations are open at 6:00 am AKST (9:00 am CST) on Wed Jan 26. Some of the popular entry points disappear quite quickly.
distinguished member(1439)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/18/2022 08:09PM  
You sound like you have been doing your research. You will be fine. Since you have some flexibility with your start date, you will likely be able to get your first choice of entry points. Holiday weekends tend to fill fastest. August is typically the most popular month. The most popular entry dates are Thursdays and Fridays, so if you can enter on other days, you can usually get what you want.

Make sure you have the email address for the alternate leader available. And tell them to watch for a confirmation email.

Happy travels!
distinguished member(3899)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/18/2022 09:46PM  
Sounds like you're prepared and flexible. You'll be fine
member (35)member
01/19/2022 05:50AM  
Thanks everyone. Our preference is to enter on a Tuesday in late June so I’m feeling much better about all this. I’ll be sure to set an alarm and double check my other info.
distinguished member(1373)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/19/2022 06:46PM  
You said you’ll be picking up the permit in Ely, and you also mentioned renting canoes. Not a bad idea to decide which outfitter you’ll be renting canoes from (I suggest Piragis or Voyageur North but you really can’t go wrong), because you’ll need to stipulate your permit pickup location at the time of purchase. Hours of operation at the ranger stations are generally more limited so I find it best to just get your permit issued at your outfitter.

Have fun!
distinguished member (384)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/20/2022 11:51AM  
Make sure you're ready and logged into your account, with payment information saved ideally, before permits actually go live, so you can snag your permits quickly. Your permit _is_ saved in your cart though, I think, so payment info delays shouldn't cause you to lose a permit.
Guest Paddler
01/20/2022 01:57PM  
Yikes! I'm glad I reread your list!
I just registered on
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