Learn and Explore
2020 Lottery Call List
Lottery Call List will be posted here after 4:30 p.m. CST on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020.
Look for your identifier (initials, number, etc.). We will call participants in this order starting at 8:30 am CST Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Please have a trip plan(s) ready, with alternate sites, as you will be selecting your sites when we call. Payment is due in full at the time of the reservation. You may reserve three permits in one call. We will then circle through the lottery numbers again if you wish to reserve more permits. The remaining group sites will be released out to everyone else after the completion of the lottery.
**The just-in-case disclaimer: should the Park office be closed due to inclement weather, we will hold the lottery Thursday, January 16.**
2020 Group Lottery Call List
Lottery registration: Monday, December 2, 2019 through Tuesday January 14, 2020 @ 4:00 pm CST
Lottery drawing: After 4pm on Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Lottery reservations made: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Please read through the process below before calling. This is only for groups of 8-21 people wishing to use group campsites on the islands in 2020.
The Lottery Process:
Definition of key terms:
A lottery is defined as: the process used to generate a list of random names determining the order in which phone calls will be made by park staff to those wishing to obtain group camping permits.
A round is defined as: the attempt to contact each of the participants registered for the lottery. Progressing through the entire list of names constitutes one round.
A group is defined as any party of 8 to 21 individuals that wish to camp within the park. Groups are required to use a single group camp site for each night of camping.
CUA is defined as Commercial Use Authorization. A CUA is required of all businesses, groups, organizations or individuals that provide guided trips and/or services for hire, compensation or reimbursement within the national lakeshore. It is the obligation of the person, business or organization providing guided services to contact the Commercial Services Manager at 715-779-9101 or e-mail us to obtain application materials for this permit. If you are uncertain of your status, call for clarification.
To learn more about the Commercial Use Authorization program or to download an application please go to our Commercial Use Authorization page.
There are two types of lottery participants. When registering for the lottery, each user type has a slightly different requirement. Follow the instructions per user type.
Type 1: An outfitter or business that provides guided services for hire or compensation in the park. Such outfitter or business must make camping reservations for the groups they lead.
- Your business must have a tentative CUA permit for the 2020/21 seasons or must have a submitted CUA application for 2020/21 upon registering for the lottery. It is your obligation to contact the park for materials needed to apply for a CUA permit. If you are not sure if you need this permit, call for clarification. Contact the Commercial Services Manager at 715-779-9101. A CUA permit must be obtained before utilizing a camping permit.
- Group camping reservations must be made by a representative of your business. Customers of your business must not submit name(s) to the lottery. If both your business and your customer(s) hold a CUA permit, only the party providing the guided services will register their name in the lottery. It is prohibited and considered a violation that customers of your business, utilizing your guide services, obtain a camping permit for your business. Violations will be closely monitored and repeat offenders may endure a revocation of their CUA permit.
Type 2: A nonaffiliated group that does not use the services of a paid/professional guide while in the park. Such groups must make their own camping reservations. Such groups may still use controlled services from outfitters including equipment rental and shuttle opportunities. Accompaniment of a paid/professional guide is prohibited when in the park.
- An individual or group paying an outfitter to guide them in the park must not register for the lottery. Your guide service will do that for you.
Important Information to Know
The fees for group camping is $30 per night as well as a $10 reservation fee for each permit made. Payment by credit card must be made when the reservations are made. For additional information on visitor use fees at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, please visit: Fees and Reservations
Your space in the lottery is not transferable
You must talk with staff on the telephone in order to make reservations. If they are unable to reach you after calling twice, your name will be bypassed until the next round. Reservations will NOT be done through email.
Those who participate in the lottery must have 8-21 campers when they use the site
Change fees apply even if you give the staff member the wrong dates when making the reservation
You may obtain up to three permits during each round
It is very important for you to know that the responsibility for compliance with permit conditions applies to the applicant, group, organization, and commercial entity that utilizes each permit
- If you no longer need a permit, please cancel your permit as soon as possible either online or by calling park staff at 715-779-3397 and select option 2. Those sites will go back into the database to be available for others. Cancellation policy does apply. Visit the Fees page on www.recreation.gov for more information on the cancellation policy.
- You are able to reserve group campsites after the lottery based on whatever is available.
Monday, December 1, 2019 – Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 4pm CST
Registrations for the group camping permit lottery will be accepted during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday), the cutoff will be 4:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday January 14, 2020.
To register, call 715-779-3397, extension 2.
While calling the park to register for the lottery, participants will need to:
Provide only one individual's name that will be available to make the reservations
Provide your business name, if applicable
Provide an email address that will be used to make reservations (if you are a business and do not recall your email used, ask the staff member to look it up)
Provide up to two telephone numbers of where the individual can be contacted at
Provide a unique identifier so you can easily, but confidentially, locate your position in the lottery. Such as Red3397, BWH, etc.
The lottery drawing will take place at 4:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Results of the lottery will be posted on this page Tuesday, January 14, 2020 after 4:00 p.m. CST. Participants will be identified by their unique identifier so their listing on the website will be confidential.
The lottery drawing will determine the order in which registrants will be contacted by the staff at the park. This order will not change throughout the lottery.
Potential group campers who register for the lottery after the drawing is concluded will have their name added at the bottom of the lottery list. This must be done before calls are started on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 in order to be added to the list.
- Park staff will begin contacting lottery participants on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. CST until the lottery noon and then from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. CST. If the lottery is not completed by 4:00 p.m. then it will continue the following day at the same times.
- If the park office is closed due to inclement weather, reservation calls will be made on the next business day the office is open.
- Lottery participants will need to have the dates, sites, and estimated group size ready when the staff calls to make reservations. It is best to have a second itinerary in case the sites are not available. This will help speed up the process of making reservations. **Make sure to have the correct dates of your trip**
If your telephone is busy when you are called, or if there is no answer, we will either call a second telephone number (if one is provided) or wait five minutes and try again. If, at that time your telephone is busy or unanswered, your name will be bypassed until the next round.
- When staff calls you, you may make up to three group camping reservations. If you wish to make additional reservations, tell the staff member and you will be called again in the next round. The order determined by the drawing will apply for each round.
After the Lottery - Getting Your Permit
You must either print your permit yourself or pick up your permit in person at the park headquarters Visitor Center in Bayfield. In order to print your permit online, you will need to sign into your account profile at www.recreation.gov. It is recommended to print the permit closer to the start of your trip
Each camping party in the park must have the camping permit in their possession. The confirmation email is NOT your permit. All campers are responsible for knowing, following, and adhering to all park rules and regulations. The rules and regulations for camping are printed with the permit. For other rules in the park, review the park's Laws and Policy page including the Superintendent’s Compendium.
- If you no longer need a permit, please cancel your permit as soon as possible either online or by calling park staff at 715-779-3397 and select option 2. Those sites will go back into the database to be available for others. Cancellation policy does apply. Visit the Fees & Cancellations tab on www.recreation.gov for more information on the cancellation policy.