Boundary Waters Trip Packages

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA), is a 1,090,000-acre wilderness area within the Superior National Forest in the northeastern part of Minnesota.  There are a lot of similarities to Algonquin, but the permit process, route selection, and navigation are a little different.  We've partnered with a seasoned (25 years!) local outfitter to facilitate and serve nonprofit group trips at discounted rates.

Click the icons for US Forest Service video intros to BWCA >>

Package Details

As of Summer 2020, we are offering one package for Boundary Waters trips, which is similar to the Deluxe Canoe Package offered in Algonquin -- but with some serious upgrades!

Ultralite Kevlar Canoe Package

$65 Per Person/Day
  • Ultralight We-No-Nah Kevlar Canoes (42 lbs)
  • Bentshaft Paddles
  • Vest-Style PFDs
  • Superlight North Face or Kelty Tents
  • Superlight Sleeping Bags
  • Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads (Full-Length)
  • Compression Sacks
  • Maps w/Map Case (incl Trip Route)
  • Utility Cord (50 ft)
  • Cook Kit w/ Cleaning Kit
  • Stove/Fuel (if needed)
  • Bear Rope
  • Collapsible Water Bucket
  • Lighweight Folding Saw
  • Base Camp Overnight (Bunk House)
  • Showers (Post Trip)
  • Pilgrimage T-Shirt
  • Wilderness Food Package (+$9 pp/day)

Permit Costs

    • BWCA Permit: $20/Group (up to 9)
    • USFS Camping Fee
      • $8 per youth (17 and under)
      • $16 per adult

About Permits

Permits in BWCAW work a little differently than in Algonquin.  Rather than reserving a route, groups will reserve an entry point.  The number of groups per entry point is metered/limited.  Once inside the wilderness area, your route can be flexible.

This can be liberating, but it becomes more important to secure the appropriate access point for your planned route as early as possible.

NOTE: Permits will be secured by our outfitting partner on your behalf, paid by Pilgrimage, then billed on your final invoice for Boundary Waters trips.

FAQ (Other Details)

Like Algonquin, the Boundary Waters limits travel/campsite groups to 9 people.  So larger group events will require registration of multiple travel groups. 

The park regulations are a bit tighter than Algonquin as it relates to congregating together with more than 9 people, on campsites, in particular.

Also, since the permit process limits group permits per access point over a given time period, larger groups that want to travel the same route throughout the week should secure reservations and permits early.  If there are fewer permits available than you need, you may have to split your group across multiple access points.

We're working on that.  There are some camps in northern WI (about 8 hours from Ely, MN) that may be able to provide overnight accommodations for groups traveling to and/or from.  We'll update this if/when that's nailed down.

You will self-transport your people from the outfitter's location to and from the trailhead.  Canoes will be moved for you.

Location is Ely, MN -- basically the epicenter for outfitters serving the Boundary Waters.  They have been operating and serving groups for 25 years.

There are a lot of similarities. Our partner outfitter has 25 years of experience helping groups plan routes.  He will walk through ideas and options with you over the phone.  One of the helpful resources for this conversation is paddleplanner.com, which has an interactive map of the Boundary Waters.

There are also some interactive maps on the BoundaryWaters.com website.

Like Algonquin, BW campsites have what they call latrines, which are the equivalent of the wood box approach in Algonquin, but they are made of fiberglass.

The Boundary Waters is a bit tighter than Algonquin when it comes to bigger groups.  You can certainly travel together during the day but should avoid "rafting up" with several canoes out on the water.  It is NOT permitted to congregate at campsites with more than 9 people, even if only for dinner and a talk.  So plan to adjust your approach to those rhythms accordingly if your group is larger than 9.

It's recommended.  Water filters are provided as part of the package.