Boundary Waters Canoe & Camping Adventure – June 20 – 26, 2022

Come explore the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) with us! 

Known for its untouched forests, spectacular chain of pristine lakes and a variety of wildlife, you'll spend five days exploring this northern gem found along the Canadian border in Northeastern Minnesota. Slow down and take in the natural beauty as you explore this area by canoe watching for wildlife including deer, moose, black bear and Canadian lynx. Experience stillness and solitude among the pines, birch and cedar trees, listen to the loons call while watching the sun rise as it burns off the misty morning from off of a mirror-still lake, relax around an evening campfire in the evening while you watch for shooting stars and northern lights, all with an incredible group of new friends. This is a beginner friendly trip and no canoe experience is required. You will be traveling in a lightweight Wenonah canoe for the duration of your trip.

Day 1: Arrive and Meet Your Trip Mates!

Welcome to Minnesota, the North Star state!  If flying in, you will arrive at the MSP airport. Upon arrival, you will take a shuttle to our hotel in Bloomington for the evening; details will be provided before your arrival. If you are driving, you can meet at the hotel where you will be able to park your car for the duration of the canoe trip. Please note there is an additional $10 fee per night to park your car. 

Settle in and spend the rest of your day relaxing in the hot tub, swimming in the indoor pool or exploring North America's largest shopping mall, the Mall of America. 

Enjoy the evening by grabbing dinner with the group and getting to know each other. The group will enjoy dinner at their leisure with plenty of options to choose from at the Mall of America.

Day 2: Drive to the BWCA and Paddle from Brule Lake to Jock Mock Bay

Wake up early and get your day started with a cup of coffee and a hot breakfast. Private transportation will pick us up at 7:00 a.m. to whisk us away for an epic five days exploring the beautiful and remote Boundary Wilderness Canoe Area.

Enjoy lunch on the drive up to the Bounday Waters Canoe Area. Once we arrive at the entry point, we will meet our guides, unload the trailer and pack our gear into large dry bags. The first day’s paddle will be from the Brule Lake access point to a campsite in Jock Mock Bay. In camp you will prepare dinner and enjoy an evening around the fire as you discuss trip expectations.

Day 3: Paddle the serene waters north to Cone Bay before traversing several portages to Winchell Lake.

Wake up early for great coffee and breakfast and review canoeing skills. Break camp and get underway, paddling north to Cone Bay and traversing several portages into Winchell Lake. Find a nice campsite on the north shore of Winchell and settle in for an evening around the fire sharing stories, enjoying s'mores and watching for shooting stars and northern lights.

Day 4: Hike the Palisades of Winchell Lake.

You'll spend a layover day on Winchell Lake. The southern shore of Winchell has steep cliffs and palisades. If the group is feeling ambitious, you may climb up the cliff for a spectacular view. Or you can take a day trip to gliding across the lake or visit the nearby Omega Lake and Gaskin Lake in the canoe.

After a full day of exploring this stunning area, take a dip in the lake before winding down with dinner, campfire stories and a gorgeous sunset. 

Day 5: Fish, bird watch, and explore the area surrounding Brule Lake.

In the morning wake up early and watch the sunrise, Next we travel south through several portages and camp on the east end of Brule Lake. Once we arrive at camp, there will be more time for fishing, bird watching, exploring and learning camp crafts. In the evening we will enjoy dinner at camp together and spend the night next to a campfire enjoying great conversations and incredibel views of the stars.

Day 6: Make your final paddle across Brule Lake

Rise with the sun and paddle across Brule Lake. Pack up the van for the ride home, arriving back in Minneapolis in the early evening. 

We will return back to our hotel for the evening and take some time to freshen up with a hot shower or relax with a nice hot tub soak. Tonight you can enjoy dinner at your leisure or with the group as you revel in the incredible experience and adventure you shared!

Day 7: Great memories and say goodbye to your new friends!
 
After one last hot breakfast, it is time to say goodbye to your new friends before catching your flight back home. Shuttles to the MSP airport will be provided.


Inclusions:
- 5 days/4 nights canoe camping in the BWCA; you will share a comfortable tent that fits 2-3 people. Bathroom facilities consist of USDA Forest Service commodes.
- 2 nights in a 3-star hotel; shared queen beds in a double queen suite 
- All transportation once you arrive in Minneapolis, MN. Transportation to and from the airport will be a provided by the hotel and private transportation to and from the BWCA will be provided by our guides.
- 5 days of guided canoeing, hiking and camping in the BWCA
- Wenonah Kevlar canoes, tent and all cooking gear. Some gear such as sleeping bags and pads can be made available upon request at booking.
- All guides and entry fees
- All meals provided as noted in itinerary; breakfast Monday morning through Saturday morning + Sunday morning. Dinner Sunday and Saturday evenings not included. 

Exclusions:
- Transportation to and from Minneapolis, MN
- Parking at the hotel is not included Monday through Friday evening. There is a fee of $10 per night to park your car for the duration of the canoe trip.
- Fishing gear, tackle and MN fishing license
- Gear: A gear list will be provided to each participant. Some camping gear such as sleeping bag and sleeping pads are not included but can be made available upon request at booking.
- Alcoholic Beverages, energy drinks, electrolyte replacements, specialty snacks
- Tips for guides
- Travelers Insurance and medical expenses
- Covid-19 testing, vaccinations and travel expenses

Meals:
All meals will be provided as noted above. Dinner on the first evening and last evening are not included. Please reach out after booking if you have any food allergies/sensitivities. We will do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions but cannot make any guarantees.

Trip Confirmation: 
This trip requires a minimum number of ladies to register in order for it to be confirmed. Once the trip reaches the minimum participant number, you will receive a trip confirmation email and a link to be added a private Facebook group just for trip guests. In this group further trip details will be provided. The trip will be confirmed no later than March 19th, 2022. Please let us know if you do not have or use Facebook (see contact information below).

Trip Cost:
$1,825 per person (shared occupancy). You must be vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to book this trip.

Cancellation Policy:
Due to the nature of this trip, payment is non-refundable at the time of purchase. If you can no longer attend, you are able to transfer your ticket to another guest. You are responsible for finding someone to transfer your ticket to and arranging the exchange of funds. Please get in touch with the Women Who Explore to discuss the transfer of your ticket. We may be able to assist if there is a wait list. 

Covid-19 Travel Policy:
As of November 15th, 2021 all trip participants must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before traveling with Women Who Explore on any trip. The cost of any required Covid-19 testing is not included in the trip price and will need to be paid and arranged by trip participants. Any additional related expenses including but not limited to testing, vaccinations, treatment, quarantines, and travel costs incurred as a result of a positive Covid-19 will be the responsibility of the trip participant. 


What to Expect From our Canoe Trip Tour Operator

Terrain/Route Choices:
The BWCA lies on the Canadian Shield, and is characterized by exposed granite with a thin layer of topsoil. The lakes and trails make this wilderness area one of the most accessible in the country. The BWCA offers a wide range of route options from very easy to very difficult. Your trail guides will determine the route you will take, based on wilderness conditions and your group’s interests. No previous experience is needed to complete this trip.

Type of Travel/Distance:
You will travel in 18-foot ultra-lightweight Wenonah Kevlar canoes, which hold two to three paddlers, plus all necessary gear. An average day’s travel consists of 3-6 hours of paddling, and you can expect 2-4 portages (short trail crossings) per day. The portages tend to be hilly and range from 20 feet to 1/4 mile. Travel distances vary from 6-12 miles per day with the exception of scheduled layover days.

Weather:
Temperatures in the summer range from 40° F to 95° F. Rainfall can vary, but you should expect at least a day or two of rain.

Your Group:
The group size will consist of 6-7 people, plus 1-2 guides. Trips are cooperative in nature and the guides will assist you in whatever areas you need, however most people pitch in where they can. Part of the adventure involves learning about daily camp activities. 

Experience:
This is a beginner friendly trip and no canoe experience is required. You will be traveling in a lightweight Wenonah canoe for the duration of your trip

Tour Meals:
The fun of wilderness camping includes cooking in the wilderness, a challenge with great rewards. The operator prides themselves on providing healthy ingredients for simple, plentiful dishes everyone will enjoy. Count on hearty breakfasts, trail lunches, plenty of snacks, and wonderful dinners, finished off with campfire s’mores. If you have special dietary restrictions, be sure to let us know when you register.

Equipment and Clothing:  
The tour operator will provide all group gear and equipment. You will be assigned the same gear for the duration of your trip and it will be sanitized between trips. You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list that will be provided. If you need to borrow a sleeping pad or sleeping bag, please let us know when you register. If you are new to outdoor activities, you do not need to spend a lot of money. The tour guide can usually arrange for you to borrow most items if needed.

Health Pre-Screening:
Upon your arrival, the tour guides will perform a health screening that will include confirming that you have no COVID-19 related symptoms (for example: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat) or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 related symptoms within the last 2 weeks. We will also take each group member’s temperature daily. If COVID-19 related symptoms develop during your trip, the trip will end immediately and everyone must return home as soon as safely able. 

Safety While On Trail:
All participants and staff will wear masks when social distancing is not possible (i.e. loading/unloading boats, cooking, etc.) or when requested by a guide. Thorough hand washing and/or gloves and masks will be worn during meal preparation.

Questions? Please reach out to Lindsey Egan at lindseyegan@womenwhoexplore.com

*Images may not reflect the exact places being visited during this trip itinerary.
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Meet Your Trip Host - Las Vegas Ambassador - Sarah

I am a military wife and stay-at-home mom of two boys, three cats and a dog. I am originally from southwest Missouri but currently live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I love exploring new places and the military life has given me the opportunity to live in several different states and countries. A few of my favorite activities are hiking, backpacking, camping, kayaking, snowshoeing, cycling, open water swimming, watching movies, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and eating.

I became an ambassador for Women Who Explore in September 2020 and lead weekly hikes and monthly camping, backpacking, or kayaking trips. I'm an advocate for women to step outside their comfort zone and try something new. I love watching women push themselves and accomplish something they never thought possible. I want to help all women experience the beauty and peace the outdoors can provide and to help them realize that they are stronger and more capable than they ever thought possible