Voyageurs National Park Camping Permits Overview
** All frontcountry and backcountry campsites require travel by private watercraft or water taxi to access. Click on any campsite name when searching sites to view boating distances. **
Voyageurs National Park has 147 frontcountry, 14 backcountry, and 2 primitive campsites for visitors wanting an authentic northwoods camping experience.
PRIMITIVE CAMPSITES (Red Pine & Blueberry Ridge) are the only campsites located on the mainland and DO NOT require a boat to access. They are hike-in sites along the Kab-Ash Trail and are equipped only with fire rings and cleared areas for tents. Leave No Trace Principles apply in these areas.
FRONTCOUNTRY CAMPSITES are located on the large lakes (Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, Sandpoint). You may boat directly to them from any park visitor center boat ramp. They are equipped with fire rings, tent pads, picnic tables, bear lockers for safe food storage, and outdoor privies. Use the Build Itinerary button to plan your frontcountry camping trip.
BACKCOUNTRY CAMPSITES are located on the park's interior lakes and offer a more remote and secluded camping experience. They have fewer amenities, consisting of fire rings, an outdoor privy, and some have a bear pole for safe food storage. These sites first require travel by private watercraft or local water taxi service to a trailhead and then hiking up to several miles to the backcountry lakes. Some c ampsites can be hiked to directly while others require the use of a canoe after hiking which are provided by the park and remain stationed at these remote lakes.
OVERNIGHT BACKCOUNTRY CANOE RENTALS: Voyageurs offers the ability to rent canoes in association with a camping permit. These canoes stay stationed at the remote inland lakes and require a combination code to access. This information can be found in your confirmation email. Be certain to print your permit within 5 days of your trip start date; it is required to have this with you and it will also contain the necessary code and instructions. Backcountry canoe rentals are available from the Friday before MN Fishing Opener through October 15 annually. This means that the campsites in the Chain of Lakes and Shoepack Lakes (where canoes are required to access the sites) cannot be reached and are closed outside of those dates. Use the Build Itinerary button to plan your backcountry camping trip.
- Ek, Cruiser, Brown, Oslo, Peary, Ryan, Agnes, Jorgens, and Quarter Line Lakes: These backcountry campsites can be hiked to directly after boating to a trailhead and have an optional canoe located at the site which can be added when making a reservation.
- Chain of Lakes (Locator, War Club, Quill, Loiten): Reservations at these sites automatically include one canoe because a canoe is required to reach them. Additional canoes are available here on a first come, first served basis.
- Shoepack & Little Shoepack Lakes: The campsites on these two lakes come reserved together and automatically include canoes because the one canoe on Little Shoepack is required to reach the campsite on Little Shoepack and/or the portage to Shoepack Lake, which also has its own canoe. Please leave the canoes on their respective lakes.
DAY USE BACKCOUNTRY CANOE RENTALS: The same canoes available in the backcountry for use with overnight camping can be reserved for day use. This first requires travel by private watercraft or local water taxi service to a trailhead, and then hiking into the backcountry lakes where the rental canoes are stationed. Click on the Reserve Day Use Rentals button or scroll further down on this page to view canoe options and availability.
DAY USE & VISITOR DESTINATION SITES: With 27 Day Use sites and 7 Visitor Destination sites, Voyageurs National Park has plenty of areas to enjoy for visitors who are out for a day trip on the lakes. Each Day Use site has picnic tables, fire rings and vault privies, while the Visitor Destination sites offer short trails with wayside exhibits, picnic areas and comfort stations. No reservations are required for Day Use or Destination sites. You can view a map of day use sites here .
Keep Voyageurs National Park Wild for Future Generations: The Voyageurs Conservancy is the park's official nonprofit partner representing a community of people who care about the ongoing stewardship of Voyageurs National Park. VNPA works to fund projects and programs that will help sustain the park's waters, wild character, and visitor experience for generations to come. Become a member today , follow them on Facebook and Instagram , or sign up for their e-newsletter .
From spring through fall, explore Voyageurs National Park on land by stopping in at a visitor center or hiking any of our 52 miles (84 km) of scenic hiking trails. To explore the vastness of the same lakes the Voyageurs and Ojibwe Indians once traversed, leave your car behind and explore park waters by kayak, canoe, sailboat, motorboat, houseboat or tour boat. Public boat launch ramps are available at park visitor centers, the Crane Lake ranger station and the two state forest campgrounds - Woodenfrog and Ash River.
With scheduled programs and boat tours, you can paddle a canoe on the Voyageurs Highway, watch wildlife by day and stars by night, and explore historic Kettle Falls Hotel, Hoist Bay and Ellsworth Rock Gardens. Check the Things to Do page on the park website for a current list of these activities and many more, or speak with a park ranger at one of the Voyageurs National Park visitor centers. Many of our programs offer reservations. Visit the Voyageurs National Park Tours or the Voyageurs National Park Special Interpretive Programs pages (reservations are highly recommended for boat tours).
Voyageurs National Park has three visitor centers, which offer area information, exhibits, a park movie, bookstore, Junior Ranger programs, boat ramps, hiking trials and more. All visitor centers are open daily in the summer, and the Rainy Lake Visitor Center operates year-round.
Raniy Lake Visitor Center (218) 286-5258
Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center (218) 875-2111
Ash River Visitor Center (218) 374-3221
Voyageurs National Park is a land and water environment of great beauty, exceptional natural and cultural resources, and abundant recreational opportunities. Located in the lake-country of northern Minnesota, the park protects 218,054 acres (88,243 ha) that include roughly 134,000 acres (54,227 ha) of forest, 84,000 acres (33,993 ha) of water, 655-miles (1,054 km) of undeveloped shoreline, and hundreds of islands. The park's 55-mile (89 km) northern boundary is the international border between the United States and Canada and includes an important segment of the "transcontinental highway" traversed by French-Canadian voyageurs during the late 1700s and early 1800s.
There are four distinct seasons in Voyageur country. The air is mild during June, July, and August when periods of fine, warm weather prevail. The frost-free season averages 120 days from June to mid-September. The average ice-out date is May 3 but varies year to year. Annual precipitation (rain and snow) averages 25-28 inches (63-71 cm) in the park and average snowfall ranges from 55-70 inches (140-180 cm), but is highly variable. The first measurable snowfall occurs in late October and the last in late April or early May.
contact_infoFor facility specific information, please call (218) 283-6650.
Unique attractions near Voyaguers National Park:
The City of International Falls sits on the U.S.-Canada borde r, across from Fort Frances, Ontario. You can have a picnic lunch in Smokey Bear Park, and then tour the Bronko Nagurski Museam and Koochiching County Historical Museum, which both sit on site. Don't forget to take a photo with the 26-foot statue of Smokey the Bear himself - a well-known and beloved national symbol of fire prevention and forest conservation. There are many unique businesses and shops along main street, as well as some great coffee shops and restaurants. Heading eastward out of town, you will pass the village of Ranier and numerous resorts where you can find delicious lake-side dining, fishing guides, hotel and cabin accomodations, houseboat rental companies and much more.
The Historic Port Village of Ranier is a quaint little community situa ted right where Rainy Lake empties into the Rainy River underneath a cantilever-style train bridge that spans from the U.S. into Canada. Here you will find lodging, an RV park, a park and playground, a public beach, public docks, delicous food, an ice cream parlor and a lakeside brewpub, all packed into one small charming town of about 150 residents. Be sure to take a photo with Big Vic, the 25-foot (8 m) tall statue of a French-Canadian voyageur, who stands at the entrance to this unique little town.
The communites of Kabetogama , and Ash River , and Crane Lake are located 30 to 60 miles south of International Falls, and serve as gateways to the southern district Voyageurs National Park. Be sure to stop and take a photo of yourself "riding" the walleye statue at the entrance to Kabetogama on Highway 53.
Charges & Cancellations
CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations and/or modifications to an existing reservation can easily be made online via your recreation.gov account. Log in to your account, click on your name in the upper right, and select My Reservations. Click on the "Modify or Cancel" button next to the reservation needing to be changed. The national recreation.gov call center at (877) 444-6777 can also assist. You cannot call a park office to cancel a reservation.
THE FOLLOWING FEES APPLY:
- Reservation system fee of $10 charged at time of reservation is non-refundable
- Any change (i.e. trip dates, campsite) to your reservation more than 3 days prior to your trip: No charge
- Any change (i.e. trip dates, campsite) to your reservation less than 3 days prior to your trip: $10 service fee per
- Cancel reservation more than 3 days prior to arrival date: additional $10 cancellation fee; receive refund of remaining amenity fees
- Cancel reservation less than 3 days prior to arrival date: additional $10 cancellation fee + forfeit first night’s fee; receive refund of remaining amenity fees
- Once permit has been printed: No refund; printing your permit confirms your reservation and must be done within 5 days of your trip start date from the My Reservations section of your recreation.gov account
- Once trip dates have started: No refund; if you are unable to make your trip, cancel your reservation in the My Reservations section of your recreation.gov account before your trip start date to be eligible for a refund
Directions to Campground
VEHICLE:Voyageurs National Park is approximately 5 hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul on I-35 and Hwy 53, 3 hours north of Duluth on Hwy 53, and 4 hours south from Winnipeg, Manitoba. PLANE: Falls International Airport is located in International Falls, Minnesota. Taxi service and rental cars are available here. Most flights entering the area will pass through the larger Minneapolis-St. Paul airport located around 5 hours south of Voyageurs National Park.PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: There is no public transportation to Voyageurs National Park. No bus lines or passenger trains serve this area.