FAQs

Here are some common questions and answers that may be helpful to you in planning your trip! Just click anywhere on the question to see the answer.

What’s the first thing I need to do to get my canoe trip going?

Contact us to discuss your preferred, dates or to choose a scheduled Join On trip. We’ll email Registration Form & Participation Waiver. Complete these and return with your deposit to book the trip. We’ll also send our Outfitted Gear list & helpful Personal Packing list to assist in planning and packing for your adventure. A US Forest Service entry permit is required to enter the Boundary Waters. We choose an appropriate BWCAW entry point for the group, based on the cumulative skill levels described by clients on the registration form. Permit reservation and user fees are included in the price of your trip.

Can I get maps for my trip ahead of time?

We provide the necessary maps for each canoe on the trip. Feel free to order your own maps, if you wish, online from Fisher or McKenzie, or buy them when you get to Ely. Maps are a terrific souvenir!

What are the average temperatures up in Ely?

When is the best time for fall colors?

Usually, the best colors are mid-September through early October.

Will my cell phone work in the BWCA & Quetico?

Do not count on your cell phone working while in the wilderness. It makes a handy camera though, if you can maintain battery power for the duration of the trip. Your guide carries a Garmin InReach satellite device in case of emergencies.

How much does a trip cost?

All of our trips are fully outfitted, including customized gourmet food, and are professionally guided by women who are seasoned veterans of canoe country travel, and teachers at heart.

Overnight trips: $165 per adult per day/$135 per youth per day

Day trips: $110 per adult/$90 per youth.

Check out trip & cost information here.

What if I have to cancel?

Do I need my own gear?

No, you don’t. We make it easy by providing and packing out all necessary trail gear (link to Outfitted Gear List), from sleeping bags to canoes. If you’d like to use your own life jacket, canoe paddle, or sleeping bag and pad, and we deem it canoe country trail-worthy in advance, you’re welcome to pack it along. Contact us to discuss.

Do I need to bring my own food or snacks?

Not necessary. We custom craft a Menu Plan for your Join On group, based on special dietary input you’ve provided on the Registration Form. We email that Menu Plan to each group member approximately a week or two before the trip, for approval and/or tweaks. Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Lactose Intolerant? No problem! If you are a familiar group of friends or family, and your “trip leader” would like to coordinate the Menu Plan for the group, we’re happy to send you the appropriate Menu Planning Worksheet(s) well in advance.  Or keep it stress-free and let us suggest your Menu Plan!

What time does the trip depart & return?

It depends on the group’s decision in our Orientation & Packing meeting the day/evening before departure into the wilderness. Typically, groups prefer to get an early start in the morning. Early can mean calmer waters with less wind. On the last trip day, most groups prefer to return to town by noon-2 pm. But again, departure and return times are determined as a group, with your guide’s leadership, during the O/P meeting, and may be influenced by airline travel or other important return deadlines of group members.

How long are the portages?

The length — and difficulty or ease — of portages varies greatly throughout 1.1 million acres of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Portages are measured in rods.  1 rod = 16.5′ (canoe length) and 320 r = 1 mile. What we can tell you is that no matter the route we travel, short or long portages, you will encounter rocks, roots, uneven footing, the occasional blow-down tree, inevitably some mud … AND BEAUTY ALL AROUND YOU in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest.

Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to rain to create mud on the trail. Beaver are extremely active throughout our wilderness. Need we say more?

Helpful fitness tip for portaging: get off the paved trails at home and start hiking uneven ground. Gradually add, and keep increasing, weight to a pack as you hike.

How far will we travel each day?

This will depend on the route, skills in the group, wind and weather, and the judgment of your skilled guide. Always safety first!