News Release

Isle Royale National Park Announces Further Opening

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Date: June 23, 2020
Contact: Liz Valencia, 906-369-7146

HOUGHTON, MI – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), State of Michigan, and local public health authorities, Isle Royale is increasing recreational access to the park. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning June 26, 2020, campgrounds, docks, and trails will be open, with the exception of North Desor campground and the Minong Trail from the Hatchet Lake junction to the East Huginnin Trail junction. 

Beginning June 26, 2020, Houghton, Rock Harbor, and Windigo Visitor Centers will open.  Island visitor centers will have reduced hours, reduced capacities, and limited services. 

  • Visitors should pay entrance fees in advance at
  • Boater overnight permits will be issued by phone and email from the Houghton visitor center.  
  • Backcountry camping permits for seaplane passengers will be issued on the island upon arrival.  
  • Call 906-482-0984 or email for more information.   

Beginning June 27, 2020, Isle Royale Seaplanes will resume operations and provide visitor transportation to the park from Hancock, Michigan, and Grand Marais, Minnesota.  

Beginning July 1, 2020, gasoline and diesel fuel for boaters will be sold at Rock Harbor and Windigo. Rock Harbor Dockside Store will open with a very limited selection of camping food and supplies.  
With public health in mind, the following facilities and services will remain closed for the summer:

  • North Desor campground.
  • Minong Trail from Hatchet Lake junction to East Huginnin Trail junction. 
  • Rock Harbor Lodge: Lakeside Lodge, Housekeeping Cabins, Gift Shop, Lighthouse Restaurant, Greenstone Grill, Marina (with the exception of fuel sales), fishing charters, sightseeing tours, and water taxi service. 
  • Windigo Store, Marina, and Camper cabins. 
  • Passenger ferry service to the island remains suspended.  

The health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Isle Royale, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.   

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services will remain limited this summer. When recreating, the public should follow state and local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. 

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.   

Updates on Isle Royale National Park opening will be posted on Updates about NPS operations will be posted on



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Last updated: August 10, 2020

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Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


(906) 482-0984

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