Transportation to the Island
Is 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, 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 or the Isle Royale Queen IV
from Copper Harbor, Michigan. Unfortunately 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
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.