One million sacred acres of water + wonder. That’s the scale and expanse of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (a.k.a. BWCA), one of Minnesota’s most beautiful, breath-taking and treasured wilderness gems that rests inside the Superior National Forest. Secluded from our modern day hustle and race-to-the-finish bustle, this landscape holds you close yet nudges you to explore more of what it is you’re dreaming of, striving for, in desperate need of…

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Recently, our lovely and adventurous niece Amanda, her wonderful husband Luke and their pup Stella made their annual pilgrimage to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Here she shares her expert tips and captivating photography.

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Pull up a chair and prepare to start planning your next adventure!

hero mapEvery year, we travel to northern Minnesota and explore the BWCA. It’s a place to unplug and reconnect. We are blessed to have this beautiful piece of nature in Minnesota’s backyard. It’s roughly a six hour drive from our home in Southeastern Minnesota, so for our convenience, we stay at the cozy 142C condo at Caribou Highlands Lodge the night before we travel into the BWCA.

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Top 5 reasons why Lutsen is our go-to BWCA trip stop:

1. Sleep. Exploring the BWCA should be an incredible, relaxing experience, not stressful. Traveling the day before entering the wilderness is a MUST for us. It enables us to sleep in and still arrive at the Ranger Station when it opens. More sleep = happier campers.  We enter the wilderness as early as possible so we have the best chance of obtaining a campsite. The BWCA only allows a certain amount of people in a day and there are not reservations for campsites. So the earlier we start paddling, the better!

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2. Beer.  There are several amazing breweries on the North Shore drive. Castle Danger, Bent Paddle, Canal Park, to name a few. We like to pick up a growler (or two) and enjoy before our trek into the wilderness.
3. Breakfast. 142C at Caribou Highlands has a full kitchen enabling us to cook breakfast before heading into the wilderness. It’s our last “easy” meal before we have to prepare everything over an open fire in the BWCA.

4. Pup. Our little cutie Stella joins us on our camping trip so finding a dog-friendly place is a must. Condo 142C at Caribou Highlands is one of the rare places in Northern Minnesota that allows dogs. Huge plus – Stella is a happy camper!

5. Convenience. We explore the BWCA at least once a year and love traveling to new parts of the wilderness. There are countless BWCA entry points near Lutsen. It’s a great location!

Enjoy exploring! 

p.s. Here’s a great overview on planning your BWCA adventure – everything from gear basics to permits needed to wilderness etiquette. The photos are a bit dated, but the tips & content are helpful.





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