Remote Cabins Near the Boundary Waters

Looking for an upgrade to the tent-and-mat accommodations in the BWCA? Maybe enjoy a flush toilet with four walls and a roof? Or maybe you are hoping for something quiet and warm for a winter escape? There are a handful of remote cabins for rent in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area that may be just the treat.

This article will provide some direction as you plan a cabin trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, one of America’s quietest places to sleep.

First, let’s paint the picture of the kinds of rental cabins we’re looking for: quiet and rustic with BWCA lakes easily accessible. You want to step away from the pace of life and find quietude, fishing, and some light canoe touring. But you’d prefer a bed to an air mattress.

Cabin criteria

  • All cabins are fully furnished with bed linens
  • Kitchen with basic cooking utensils
  • Flush toilets
  • Easy day trips into BWCA lakes

Because these BWCA cabins are off-the-beaten-path, it can be difficult to find listings of all of them online. But I’ve done the work to pull in some details and links to get you on your way. Plus, you can always call an outfitter in the area you’re headed for guidance.

Boundary Waters cabin rentals

Cabin rentals near Ely

Ely, Minnesota, offers close proximity to several BWCA entry points and is a lovely small town in its own right. With a few different outfitters, it’s also a hot spot for paddlers to converge during peak BWCA season. You are bound to find a nice cabin spot with BWCA access.

Big Lake Lodge Cabins has around 15 different cabins with accommodations from 2- to 12-people.

Fenske Lake Cabins is a 3-season resort with 10 cabins for rent just off the Echo trail outside of Ely.

Canoe Country Outfitters has cabins for rent on Moose Lake

Kawishiwi Lodge – the only paddle-only lodge! Right on Lake One, you can rent a cabin for a weekly rate or a bunkhouse for a nightly rate.

Gunflint area cabin rentals

Big Bear Lodge is a family-owned resort located on Poplar Lake and just off the historic Gunflint Trail outside of Grand Marais, Minnesota. They have six different cabins and most have a minimum night stay of at least 4 nights.

Voyageur Outfitters has Gunflint Trail Resort with some cabin options including a rustic, boat-accessible only cabin. Be sure to reserve your dates early, though, because they fill up.

Quetico area remote cabins

Zup’s Resort is about as remote as you’ll find a cabin in the BWCA on Lac La Croix, just beyond the border into Ontario, Canada. Access is by boat through Crane Lake, Minnesota. Great fishing and guided fishing tours.

Airbnb rentals for BWCA access

Airbnb has some fun options that are equally well-equipped and perhaps even more remote-feeling than other resort or lodge options. I encourage you to search out Airbnb or Vrbo for the areas around Ely and Grand Marais. Some of the most perfect Boundary Waters cabins are privately owned and rented through these platforms.

Do you need a BWCA permit to stay in a cabin?

If you will be paddling on a Boundary Waters Canoe Area lake, you do need a day-use permit, which is easily picked up at an entry point kiosk or Forest Services office. There’s no fee for self-issued permits. If you will be using a motorized boat on a BWCA lake, however, you do need to reserve a quota permit in advance. So plan accordingly!