BWCA Quetico in early May Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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01/30/2024 10:42AM  
Hello all,
My wife and I are planning to go to the Quetico for a 12-day trip starting on May 10th. We will be entering from the BWCA via the Prairie Portage. Am I correct in assuming that we will just need to self-issue a permit and payment at the ranger station? It appears I can't reserve any permits online until May 17th. I also understand we'll need a RABC permit. Is there anything I'm missing that will prohibit us from doing this trip?

We've only stayed on the BWCA side, so we're very much looking forward to venturing into the Quetico. I welcome any insight into what it may be like this time of year. Though it has been a very warm winter, so it could look different than years past.
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01/30/2024 11:09AM  
Quetico permits are available online up to five months prior to entry date. Go here, click the "Backcountry" tab, under which you select "Quetico" on the first line and select "Quetico" in the Park drop-down menu (why you have to select "Quetico" twice is way beyond my ability to understand, but if you don't, you don't get into the proper permit system. Then enter dates, etc, and you'll get your permit via mail. I just applied for my RABC permit, and had in in hand the next day! Have a fantastic trip!


WOOPS!! Tried the system using your dates and discovered the May 17 restriction you describe. Have you tried to reserve by phone? Reservation numbers.
distinguished member(1093)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/30/2024 03:27PM  
mstenz2 -

It has been a number of years since I last entered Quetico on a self-issued permit. However, I've only done that "post" season rather than "pre" season. I, in fact, have done this through Prairie Portage, but that was a long time ago. I filled out the self-issue permit and since you have to pay the daily camping fee (per person), I simply wrote my credit card information on the form (rather than guess at the amount of cash required) and added it to the drop box at the kiosk near the ranger station.

If I were to do this again, I think I would call the reservation line, or better yet, the park headquarters office in Atikokan, and confirm that the self-issue permit option is available at Prairie Portage and what, if any changes have been implemented.

distinguished member (497)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/30/2024 07:50PM  
I self-permitted last May at PP, you're not missing anything, assuming the ice is out, bring our RABC, then you just show up at the ranger station and self-permit. You just need to know the exchange rate for that day and calculate the cost per day times the number of people in your party times number of nights. I usually do all the math in advanced knowing that makes it quick, fill out the form take the permit portion for you to keep on you, add your cash to the envelope and drop it in the box.

Fishing license and outdoors card needed if you fish, get that at website.
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