Camping, Fees, General Information, Permits and Reservations, Pets, Programs, Service Dogs, Transportation
How are the mosquitoes and black flies on Isle Royale?
Can we car camp at Isle Royale?
Are there any group rates or discounts?
The Isle Royale Season Pass can offer a discount to visitors who stay longer than a few days or who travel by boat with several people on board.
How do I pay the Entrance Fee?
Isle Royale Queen IV, Seahunter III, Voyageur II, and Isle Royale Seaplanes passengers should pay their entrance fee in advance at pay.gov to avoid congestion and long waits upon arrival. Bring your receipt to the park to show proof of payment upon arrival. Ranger III passengers pay the entrance fee when they make their reservation.
What happens with the fee if I change my itinerary while on Isle Royale?
Campers extending their stay will be required to extend their camping permit and pay additional fees at the Rock Harbor or Windigo Visitor Centers. Those that depart the island early should request a refund through pay.gov or contact the park.
Where can I purchase a navigational map for the park?
What time zone is the island on?
Do cell phones work in the park?
Is there Wi-Fi available for visitor use?
Permits and Reservations
I plan to bring a group of 7 scouts and 3 adult leaders to Isle Royale and hike. What do I need to know?
Where do I get a back country camping permit?
PetsCan I bring my dog to Isle Royale?
Dogs, cats and other mammals are not allowed on the island. This includes pets on boats within the park boundaries, which extend 4 ½ miles into Lake Superior from the outermost land areas of the park. Visitors bringing pets to Isle Royale will be required to leave immediately. Learn why pets are not allowed.
Can I bring my service dog to the island?
Service dogs are welcome on Isle Royale. However, a service dog permit must be obtained prior to your trip. Obtaining this permit involves receiving the proper paperwork from the park, consulting a licensed veterinarian no more then 15 days prior to your park visit, and having the permit signed by the park superintendent or representative. Consult the service dog webpage for the specific details. Without the service dog permit, your dog will not be allowed on Isle Royale.
Are there certain park tours that are better than others?
Which tours will fit your needs best really depends on you. How vigorous an excursion do you want? How long do you want to be involved? Evening programs are quite popular at Rock Harbor and Windigo, as they provide a time to learn about Isle Royale after a day of exploring. Short talks and nature walks work well for day visitors and those wanting less strenuous activity. Guided tours to Passage Island and Lookout Louise are good for those with a half a day who want to stretch their legs and seek a new view or knowledge.
Transportation to the IslandIs there public transportation service between Houghton, Michigan (where the Ranger III departs) and Copper Harbor (departure point for the Isle Royale Queen IV)?
There is no public transportation from Houghton to Copper Harbor, but taxi cabs are available.
If I take the Ranger III to Isle Royale and return on the Isle Royale Queen IV or the Isle Royale Seaplanes service out of Hancock, MI, can I leave my vehicle in Houghton?
Yes, you will need to park your vehicle in the upper lot, east of the Krist Gas Station, outside of the gated area. The Isle Royale Queen IV arrives in Copper Harbor, Michigan around 6:00 pm The drive to Houghton is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes from Copper Harbor. During the summer season the Houghton Visitor Center closes its gates at 6:00 pm EDT. By parking your vehicle outside the gates you will have access to it.
How many trips per week does the Ranger III make to Isle Royale during peak season (May-Sept)?
The Ranger III begins carrying visitors to Isle Royale the last week of May and makes two trips per week to Isle Royale, every Tuesday and Friday, returning each Wednesday and Saturday through the second week of September.
What is the scheduled time of departure from Houghton, Michigan?
The Ranger III departs Houghton for Isle Royale at 9:00 am EDT, Tuesday and Friday through the passenger season. Passengers are asked to arrive by 8:00 am EDT; Canoes/kayaks should arrive by 7:45 am EDT and private boats at 7:30 am EDT.
Are there any days that the Ranger III does NOT run during the passenger season?
If the departure/arrival dates falls on a Holiday, the Ranger III will still travel to or from the Island. The only time the Ranger III would not travel to the Island would be due to a mechanical failure or a result of inclement weather.
Is it possible to see the park in one day?
It is possible to visit Isle Royale for a day trip using the Seahunter III from Grand Portage, Minnesota, the Isle Royale Queen IV from Copper Harbor, Michigan, or the Isle Royale Seaplanes service from Hancock, Michigan or Grand Marais, Minnesota. On a ferry, the layover of 3 to 4 hours allows only a brief glimpse of the immediate area and will allow time only for a short nature walk.
Is there lodging in Grand Portage?
Yes. Lodging is available, but limited. Additional lodging can be found south of Grand Portage, Minnesota.
Is it possible to bring a car on the ferry to the island?
To preserve its wilderness integrity, vehicles and wheeled devices (except wheelchairs) are not allowed on Isle Royale National Park. The approved modes of transportation include hiking, boating, canoeing, and kayaking.
What boat trip from Michigan would you recommend?
There are two boats that service the island from Michigan; the Ranger III from Houghton and the Isle Royale Queen IV from Copper Harbor. Both services have their own benefits. Selection will be left up to visitors on what services they choose.
Last updated: April 14, 2022