BWCA Customized Guided Trips 2022

Are you a group of adventurous spirits ready to take a journey together in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness?

Guiding Spirit Journeys has openings this summer to take your group on a customized adventure. Open to all genders. Are you part of a book club, corporate team, organization, family or friend group looking for a guide? Choosing your own adventure is a great way to experience the wilderness in your own time and at your own pace.


Experience the benefits of days immersed in northern solitude, as your paddle dips quietly in and out of the water.  Hear the bird calls, search the shoreline for animals, and surround yourself with the elemental beauty of our natural world.  No cars, no cell phones, no computer.  Just us, the canoe, some packs and some paddles. Work with the guide to plan your route based on the number of days and what you want to experience.


Every day is a new adventure. Learn wilderness skills like navigation, map and compass reading, knot tying, plant identification, fire building, and fishing. Options for mindfulness practices including yoga, guided meditation, journaling, and forest bathing are also easily incorporated throughout the journey. Bring your camera for those coveted naturescape, elusive animal and macrophotography opportunities.


Accommodations are Backcountry Tent Camping, Shared Space

Cost is $175 per person per day. 2 person minimum and 4 day minimum. Kids under 16 years old are half price with two paying adults. Deposit of $150 per person is due to reserve the dates.

This is a fully outfitted and professionally guided trip. Cost includes guide, all meals, group equipment, permits and instruction on trail. You will be provided with a packing list and additional information upon confirmation.

Details: Following is a tentative itinerary.  The woods are unpredictable so find ease in flexibility.  Subject to change with weather, group energy, location, etc.

Day 1: Meet in Ely, MN at 2pm Kawishiwi Ranger Station.  Travel to forest campground and set up camp.  Practice portaging, paddling, and gear packing along with a safety briefing and review of wilderness travel ethics using best practices.  Dinner and Rest.

Day 2: Early wake, pack up, breakfast, short stretch and travel to BWCA entry point.  Portage and paddle in to the BWCA.  Floating lunch and campsite exploration.  We’ll find a suitable spot for our first night camp and set up.  Dinner.

Day 3: Wake, breakfast, break camp. Paddle, raft lunch, paddle to next site, set up camp. Dinner, Explore, Campfire

Day 4: Layover Day. Brunch, Explore, Hammock, Hike, Hunt for Berries, Fish, Journal.

Day 5: Wake, breakfast and break camp. Paddle and portage to new site. Set up and explore.

Day 6: Wake, pack camp.  Paddle and portage back to entry point parking lot. Exchange emails, hugs and farewells 2-3pm.

You are responsible for travel to and from Ely, MN and subsequent campground and entry point near Ely.  Carpooling may be an option.  The trip ends the afternoon we exit the BWCA. An extra night in Ely after your trip to have dinner, visit the quaint shops, find your souvenirs, or support the International Wolf Center or Bear Center can enhance your experience.

A moderate level of physical conditioning is recommended in order to feel strong and confident on your journey.   Portages (carrying canoe and gear over land) may be 1/8 to 1/2 mile in length depending on the route. You will be traveling over rock, roots, and rough terrain at some points while carrying gear or canoes which can weight up to 58 pounds. Sturdy footwear such as hiking boots while portaging is a safety must and will be explained in packing list. Some days we paddle 2-6 hours, some days we may stay at camp to layover, rest or because of weather. In July -August in the BWCA, we usually see sunny weather, temps of 40-85 degrees. Sometimes there are bugs, and sometimes there are no bugs. 

Deposit is non-refundable with balance due 8 weeks before the trip unless other arrangements have been made. Please see FAQ for cancellation policy.

Call Melissa (320) 491-0502 for questions, additional information, arrangements and dates. Email option: