Permits & Reservations

Pigeon River flowing over rock area.
Pigeon River at Fort Charlotte, a place of serenity and solitude.


Wooden decks at Fort Charlotte campgrounds for tents.
Decks at Fort Charlotte campgrounds help keep you dry.


Backcountry camping at Grand Portage National Monument

The Grand Portage is a nearly nine mile portage/trail that connects Lake Superior to the Pigeon River over land. The hilly, rocky, rutty route challenges even experienced hikers. When making your camping plans please take into consideration your group’s physical condition and experience. Know your limits.
  • Camping at Grand Portage National Monument is limited to two campsites at Fort Charlotte.
    Due to COVID-19 Fort Charlotte Camping is currently limited to one group per night.
  • Campsites are equipped with tent pads and must be used to protect the delicate topsoil at Fort Charlotte.

  • A free backcountry permit is required for all camping at Fort Charlotte.

  • Campsites are limited to nine people.

  • Make camping reservations well ahead of time, Fort Charlotte is becoming a popular destination. Allow two weeks for permit processing.

  • Applications for camping permits can be submitted any time of year.

How to Apply for a Backcountry Permit

  • Complete all fields on the Fort Charlotte Backcountry Permit Application located at the bottom of this page.
  • Be sure to include your email address and telephone number.
  • For further information about camping, view our Camping Information page.
  • Thank you for your cooperation and efforts to help preserve and protect our park for present and future generations of canoeists, backpackers, and hikers.

A backcountry permit is required for:

  • Overnight camping at Fort Charlotte

A backcountry permit is NOT required for:

  • Day hikes (this includes nighttime "day" hikes)
A circular cook and warming ring at the Fort Charlotte campgrounds
Picnic tables and cooking grills at Fort Charlotte campgrounds


Rules - Best Practices

  • Backcountry travelers must have their permit in their possession while in the backcountry.
  • Once camp is established, the permit must be attached to a pack, tent, or other equipment in plain view so it can be easily checked by rangers. A plastic zip-lock style bag will keep your permit dry.
  • Permits are valid only for the trip leader, itinerary, number of people, and dates specified on the permit.
  • Permits for all overnight backcountry use must be obtained through Grand Portage National Monument.

Current Hydrograph

  • Current Hydrograph
  • The USGS provides a duration hydrograph that is very useful for forecasting paddling conditions on the Pigeon River from South Fowl Lake to Ft. Charlotte.
  • After examining the current hydrograph (be sure to select the right year) you should note that very difficult paddling conditions can be expected at 100 cfs (cubic feet per second) and below.
  • At this low water stage, you can expect exposed rocks in the river channel- especially where the English portage used to be located.
  • The English portage is likely little used today as there is typically more than sufficient water to float through this section of river.
  • Very good paddling conditions can be expected at 500 cfs. Conditions for paddling become more complex and difficult as discharge increases above 500 cfs.

Fort Charlotte Camping Permit Application

Complete the following fields and be sure to include an email address and telephone number. Your permit will be sent to you via email. 

  • Applicant Information: be sure to include a valid email address
  • Additional Contact Information: phone numbers to contact you
  • Emergency Contact Information: someone to contact who is NOT camping with you
  • Mode of Transportation: necessary information to issue a parking permit which will be displayed in your windshield or craft while you are at Fort Charlotte
  • Itinerary Details: requested dates for camping nights at Fort Charlotte – 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices
NPS Form 10-404 (Rev. 08/2017)
National Park Service
OMB Control No. 1024-0022
Expiration Date 01/31/2024

For the purposes of improving your visit, the National Park Service may seek to understand more about your visitor experience on this Wilderness/Backcountry trip. Are you willing to allow your contact information be used to follow up on social science information needs by the NPS in the future?

 Family  Friend









Off-Road Vehicle (ORV)

 Flexible Itinerary
 Similar/Nearby Campsites
 Reversed Itinerary
 Alternate Dates

Privacy Act Statement

General: This information is provided pursuant to Public Law 93-579 (Privacy Act of 1974), December 21, 1984, for individuals completing this form.

Authority: 54 U.S.C. §100101, NPS Organic Act; 16 U.S.C. 1131-1136, Wilderness Act; 43 U.S.C. §1701 et seq., the Federal Land Policy and Management Act; 54 U.S.C. §200301-200310, Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, as amended; 16 U.S.C. §6801-6814, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act; 36 CFR Part 71, Recreation Fees; and, 36 CFR 1.6, Permits.

Purpose and Uses: To establish and verify an applicant's eligibility for a permit to conduct certain activities within the National Park System and to process permits for individual members of the public and organizations interested in obtaining a permit authorizing an activity. Information collected will be used to provide the public and permittees with permit-related information, to monitor activities conducted under a permit, to analyze data and produce reports to monitor the use park resources, to assess the impact of permitted activities on the conservation and management of protected species and their habitats, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the permit programs. The DOI and NPS may use the information to meet reporting requirements, to generate budget estimates and track performance, and to assist park staff with visitors’ education, fee collection, resource management and protection, recreational use planning, law enforcement and public safety personnel for such purposes as emergency contact and search and rescue efforts; to provide permit holders and participants with information about parks and their partners; and to provide reports of activities conducted under an issued permit.

Based on the disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act, the National Park Service may share information with first responders and Federal, state, and local governments to provide information needed to locate an individual or render aid in an emergency; to recover debts owed to the United States; to respond to a violation or potential violation of the law; in response to a court order and/or discovery purposes related to litigation; or other authorized routine use when the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were compiled.

Effects of Nondisclosure: It is in your best interest to answer all of the questions. The U.S. Criminal Code, Title 18 U.S.C. 1001, provides that knowingly falsifying or concealing a material fact is a felony that may result in fines of up to $10,000 or 5 years in prison, or both. Deliberately and materially making false or fraudulent statements on this form will be grounds for not granting you a Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit.

Information Regarding Disclosure of Your Social Security Number Under Public Law 93-579 Section 7(b): Your Social Security Number is not needed to complete this form.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

We are collecting this information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501) and 36 CFR 1-7, 12 and 13 which authorize the National Park Service to require applicants to fill out this form to monitor resources and to protect visitors. This information is being collected to allow the park management to make value judgements necessary to enhance the safety and enjoyment of both the visitors and wildlife. All applicable parts of the form must be completed in order for your request to be considered. You are not required to respond to this or any other Federal agency-sponsored information collection unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Estimated Burden Statement

Public Reporting burden for this form is estimated to average 8 minutes per response, including the time it takes for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining data, and completing and reviewing the form. Comments regarding this burden estimate or any aspect of this form should be sent to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr. (MS-242), Reston, VA 20192.

Last updated: July 29, 2022

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P.O. Box 426
Grand Portage , MN 55605


(218) 475-0123

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