The Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) is a protected wilderness area in Northern Minnesota. It consists of nearly a million acres of boreal forest with hundreds of lakes connected by a system of canoe trail routes. Each route is unique and the options are endless. Visitors may experience solitude, waterfalls, pictographs, orchids, and woodland creatures among other features.
Peak visitation is from the beginning of June to the end of August. Daytime temperatures range from 50 to 90 degrees F. While nighttime temps can be 40-70 degrees F during peak season. One can expect and should be prepared for rain or shine on any given day.
As a designated wilderness area, the BWCA has many protections, rules and laws that must be observed in order to keep this area pristine for the next generation. A knowledgeable Guide is a valuable asset when visiting this area in order to keep your group following the rules, safe, comfortable and found. GPS cannot be solely relied upon so navigation skills with a map and compass are a must.
A permit is required for entry. No motorized travel is allowed outside of designated areas inside the BWCA. Travel inside the BWCA is by canoe and by foot only. Some larger lakes may take hours to cross while others are smaller. Any overnight paddle route may consist of both paddling and portaging. Portages are land paths that connect the lakes. Canoes and packs are carried over the portages to the next lake on the route. Some portages are long, stretching over a mile; while others are short, mere lift-overs; but most are lengths of a quarter mile or less over rock and root studded trails. Sturdy footwear is advised while traveling during the day and hiking boots with ankle support are required on our BWCA trips.
There are no roads, no houses or structures of any kind, no electricity and most areas do not have cell phone coverage which is a welcome feature for anyone looking to unplug on their journey. Urgent help can only be summoned via satellite messenger or satellite phone, which is why having a Guide with wilderness first aid training can be another valuable asset to your trip.
Guiding Spirit Journeys’ best practices follow Leave No Trace (TM) principles. The goal is to practice and teach methods of sustainable travel and eco-tourism in order to preserve this area for generations to come.
Many visitors plan annual visits to restore their spirits, weary from the daily grind. They view the wilderness as a place to disconnect from social media and technology and connect to the natural world and the rhythms of nature.
While the wilderness can be a challenging place, both physically and mentally, it is also an amazing place for personal growth and transformation. It calls to adventurers, seekers, and journeyers to come find the hidden gems among the rocks and roots but mainly within themselves. A Transformational Journey with us may help you uncover and discover your hidden gems. Be Transformed.