Boundary Waters Canoe Adventure

Destination: Boundary Waters, Minnesota

| Activities: Canoeing

Our Boundary Waters Canoe Adventure is the perfect way to seize the end of summer! Whether new to paddling or already experienced, you will delight in the pristine lakes, quiet campsites, and the serenity offered by this wilderness area. For our September or fall departure, the air is crisp and the fall colors are starting. Experience the beauty of golden aspens and red sugar maples as you float through the amazing Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA). We can't wait to paddle with you! Maximum group size: 7


  • Camping in the colorful Minnesotan woods of golden aspens and red sugar maples
  • Reveling in the peace and quiet of the pristine lakes
  • Learning and honing wilderness skills
  • Getting to swim and relax in the company of new found friends
  • Enjoying hearty camping meals after a wonderful day of canoeing and portaging

Departures and Prices

September 04 to September 10, 2024
$3195.00 - Limited Availability
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  • 2 experienced AGC guides
  • Two nights lodging in a comfortable bunkhouse
  • All group gear and equipment (canoes, paddles, life jackets, tents, sleeping bags, pads, cookware, stoves) Participants are welcome to bring their own sleeping bag and pads
  • All meals from dinner on day 1 through breakfast on the last day
  • Round-trip transportation between Duluth, MN and Ely, MN
  • Luggage transport
Not included: Transportation from your home to and from Duluth, MN, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities and travel insurance.

Trip Info

This trip is great for any woman in basic good health. Beginning canoeists are offered the training they need to build new skills with confidence. More experienced paddlers have ample opportunity to improve their techniques and learn new wilderness living and traveling skills. Rating: 1 2 [3] 4 5

This trip is great for any woman in basic good health. Beginning canoeists are offered the training they need to build new skills with confidence. More experienced paddlers have ample opportunity to improve their techniques and learn new wilderness living and traveling skills. Some paddling is strongly recommended. A love for paddling is recommended.

Our first and last night will be spent in a simple but sturdy bunkhouse. There are shared bathrooms. While camping we will utilize 2-4 person tents, provided by our outfitter. Due to the campground sizes restrictions, it is not possible for participants to each bring their own tent.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Fly or drive to Duluth and meet the group at 12pm at the airport. We’ll do brief introductions before jumping into the vans and heading north 2 hours to the quaint town of Ely, Minnesota. This afternoon and evening we’ll get an overview of canoeing, portaging and camping basics and then have a group dinner in town. Overnight: Voyageur’s North Bunkhouse. (D)
After we fuel up on breakfast, we will finish getting our gear ready before heading to our put-in point on the water. Though we don’t have to pack as light as we would on a backpacking trip, portaging - or carrying - the canoe and gear adds up! Participants can leave their travel clothes and other items in the AGC vans during the trip. Never paddled a canoe before? No problem. We’ll teach you everything you need to know. Love canoeing already and feel at home on the water? This is still a great trip for you as we’ll explore an incredible wilderness area that beginners and experts alike will enjoy. Overnight: Camping (B, L, D)
Boundary Water Canoe Area permits are unique in that we only need to specify where we’re starting. Since most campsites are first come first serve we have flexibility with our day to day itinerary. This gives us the freedom to stay more than one night in a gorgeous site or explore farther if we feel like it. Each day’s mileage and portaging will depend on the AGC guides’ recommendations, the weather and how the group is feeling. With 7 participants and 2 guides, we will be in mostly 2 person canoes with one 3 person canoe. The third bench in this larger canoe is a rest spot and can rotate among participants. Overnight: camping (B, L, D)
With over one million acres of protected and pristine forests, lakes and rivers, there is abundant wildlife, diverse fauna and endless places to explore in the Boundary Waters. The best part? We won’t be sharing any part of our route with motorized boats. Some call canoeing a “silent sport” but we’ll be laughing too much. From moose and deer to bald eagles and loons, the photos from your trip will only capture a sliver of the wild beauty you’ll encounter. Overnight: camping (B, L, D)
Wake with the sunrise, sleep when the stars come out, rinse, repeat. Each day you’ll have time to swim or read a good book, but don’t worry! We’ll also get a good work out. Portaging the canoes and gear is hard work but will lead us to incredible lakes, farther from the crowds and closer to nature. We will be sleeping in 2-3 person tents with sleeping bags/pads provided by our outfitter. (You are also welcome to bring your own sleeping bag and pad, please check with AGC that it fits the appropriate criteria first) Overnight: camping (B, L, D)
Sadly, today is our last day on these calming waters so we’ll be sure to soak up as much as possible. We’ll canoe our way to the pre arranged pick up point and be driven back to our outfitters. After a hot shower (that feels positively heavenly after a few days in the woods), we’ll head into town for a celebratory dinner, toasting all we have seen and accomplished together. Overnight: Voyageurs North Bunkhouse (B, L, D)
After a final hearty breakfast we’ll drive south to Duluth. You can plan your flight home for anytime after 12pm. (B)


(24 reviews)
4.8 Food
4.5 Lodging
5 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Most Recent

Joyce W.
10 months ago

I only rate it because I had a shoulder injury (not on the trip, before) that made it hard to really paddle well - I wouldn't have missed it and Adele and Elysee were VERY helpful and accomodating, but it left room for improvement (for next year!)

Martha N.
10 months ago

Location, people, guides, equipment, you name it -- all fantastic

Robin S.
10 months ago

First and foremost - the skill, professionalism, group management, calm and friendly demeanor, gourmet cooking, and delightful senses of humor that Elysee and Adele exhibited from start to finish. Secondly, the members of our group were all equally committed to contributing whatever it took to make the adventure succeed on multiple levels. Third - the gear from Voyageur North Outfitters was first-rate. And of course, surrounding all - the infinite peace and beauty of the Boundary Waters.

Margaret R.
10 months ago

Our guides were both outstanding and the group we traveled with was amazing.

Deana F.
10 months ago

Spectacular scenery only accessible by canoe, awesome guides and new formed relationships. Amazing!

Pamela P.
10 months ago

Our guides created the perfect atmosphere with quiet confidence, consummate professionalism and stealthy vigilance. We barely noticed how hard they were working as they appeared to be having fun right along with the group.

Joanne B.
10 months ago

I haven't been wilderness camping in a long time and I forgot how quiet nature can be. I didn't know that the Boundary Waters was a no-fly zone and a designated dark sky area so to not hear aircraft was wonderful and living in an area with a ton of light pollution I was in awe of how many stars I saw and the Milky Way was just jaw-dropping. Meeting and getting to know women from all over the country was another highlight of the trip. I hope to see some of them on another AGC adventure in the future.

Jennifer L.
10 months ago

Everything from pre-trip planning to arriving in Duluth and making our way to Ely and onto the Boundary Waters went smoothly and easily. I really appreciate the feeling that our guides had accounted for most of the details that would come up and could come up. We got to enjoy a bit of Ely, get comfortable with portaging, and learn about the journey ahead of us before venturing out on the water. The guides were really top notch. They gave me the chance to learn new skills and to try out those new skills in the outdoors. The sheer vastness of the lakes and the sky and the scenery and how different weather conditions affected our journey was just another part of the adventure. What really made it special was that there wasn't really an itinerary in the boundary waters. We went to the places that fit our skills and the conditions and wherever we went it was stunning day or night.

Polly H.
10 months ago

What a fun adventure. A great group with plenty of support from the guides and the other participants to do new things…like portaging a canoe. The beauty and peacefulness of the Boundary Waters make it a special place.

Jammie F.
1 year ago

The camaraderie of the group and the magnificent Boundary Waters.

Ford B.
1 year ago

Cheri H.
1 year ago

My love of being in nature was enhanced significantly by canoeing the fabulous interconnected waterways, walking in the unspoiled forests, discovering the many varieties of lichen and mushrooms, watching breathtaking sunsets and seeing a million stars out at night! Top it off with two brilliant guides who know and love the Boundary waters and who are passionate about showing our group this one of a kind place, made the trip uniquely special.

Judy B.
1 year ago

The guides made this trip unique. Their task was to keep all 6 participants of different abilities and needs safe, fed, warm and dry enough, injury free, and happy. Somehow on day one, we could tell we were in good hands!

Louise S.
1 year ago

The amazing guides, the solitude of the boundary Waters, and amazing new friends I met made this trip a memorable check off my bucket list.

Marjorie L.
1 year ago

The guides and the location.

Cynthia M.
1 year ago

I had never canoed so I was very far from my comfort zone. Deb and Adele were patient while still encouraging me to step up my game!

Valerie C.
1 year ago

The boundary waters has been on my bucket list for a long time and this was a perfect introduction to paddling in this wilderness. The women on the trip as well as the guides were wonderful. The full moon night paddles were magical.

Sue C.
1 year ago

Our guides, Deb and Adele, made the trip so special with their care! Their efforts to make the experience memorable succeeded in every way-from fabulous meals to glorious campsites to informative talks.

Ty H.
1 year ago

Wonderful group of women experienced in camping and paddling. Terrific guides who knew the territory well and shared their enthusiasm for the boundary waters.

Lindsay Y.
1 year ago

- It challenged me. - It introduced me to a place I'd always wanted to explore, but hadn't found a way to do it. Five days & four nights in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness left me feeling like a true Minnesotan. It was full of contrasts: Headwinds & calm glass-like waters, foggy mornings & sunny/sparkling afternoons, sweaty days & chilly nights, long paddles & short portages, rocky/sharp terrain & soft trails, alone & in community. It made me feel strong & yet so small compared to the vast expanse. It was…Incredible. Mysterious. Inspiring. Beautiful. An awesome learning adventure, so different than anything I’ve ever done.

Jo M.
2 years ago

This was my first trip with AGC but it won’t be my last. It was a treat to travel with such a congenial group of women and two of the best guides one could hope for. Canoeing and camping in the Boundary Waters is a perfect way to “get away from it all” to a place of peace, serenity and natural beauty. The trip was well organized and ran smoothly; even the weather cooperated. As a vegetarian, I didn’t have great expectations for the food, especially on a camping trip. Boy was I pleasantly surprised! Kudos to the chefs.

Phyllis T.
2 years ago

The place and a chance to canoe.

Susan R.
2 years ago

No rating can express the inner joy & peace that comes from being in the Boundary Waters. Travelling with like-minded women and two of the best guides I've ever had, tops any expectation one might have.

Judith L.
2 years ago

This was my second trip to the Boundary Waters. The first was in 2002, with AGC, and my memories were of a wonderful trip. I have wanted to go back for a long time. This trip not only confirmed all my memories, but exceeded my expectations and has now made new memories. I remember the loons and their haunting calls, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the lovely campsites, the calm and peaceful lakes with few people, the portages. We did a different route than my last trip. I enjoyed Ely, and the Wolf Center there is not to be missed. This trip also added one day of wind for challenging, yet great learning and paddling, and for me, 20 years older than my first trip, nice physical challenge, but always just as much as I was willing and able to do. The guides were spectacular, as they were on the first trip. (I probably went with Deb 20 years ago, so no surprise about great guides! ) and my fellow participants were friendly, encouraging and fun to be with. I hope I get to return again.

  1. I've never camped before, is this the right trip for me?

    That depends, are you ok not showering for a few days? Would you be comfortable sleeping on the ground? (You'll have a sleeping pad, but it won't be as comfortable as a proper bed.) Are you ok sharing the confines of a tent with another person? Are you easy going when it comes to changing plans based on the weather? If your answers to those questions were "YES," then you'll do just fine on this trip!
  2. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking the meals while camping; two dinners will be at restaurants where you can order off the menu.
  3. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    We can accommodate vegetarian and "simple" allergies (i.e. allergic to just one thing like shellfish or mushrooms). Because of the nature of backcountry cooking, we cannot guarantee zero cross-contamination between vegetarian and non vegetarian meal preps, nor can we accommodate travelers with gluten or lactose intolerances.
  4. Do you guarantee excellent fall foliage?

    We wish we could! We can say that unless it is a highly unusual year, there will be fall foliage. But when the peak occurs and how intense it is varies from year to year.