2020 COVID-19 Closure Order

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United States Department of the Interior
Isle Royale National Park
800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1869

Closure Order #20-004
May 21, 2020

Closures, restrictions and public use limits:

Closure Order – All of a Park Area: Isle Royale is closed annually from November 1—April 15. Due to COVID-19 public health and safety concerns, this closure has been extended until further notice. Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, all lands administered by the National Park Service within Isle Royale National Park are closed, effective immediately, as follows:

  • All islands and the main island of Isle Royale (i.e. all lands), docks (including fuel docks), trails, visitor facilities, and campgrounds will remain closed until further notice.

Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)

Restrictions and Public Use Limits: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, the following activities are restricted in Isle Royale National Park, effective immediately, until rescinded:

  • SCUBA diving activities are prohibited in all park waters.
  • Anchoring and all other overnight uses within Isle Royale waters (located 4.5 miles from shore) are prohibited during the emergency closure.
  • Fishing in Lake Superior waters within the park boundary (located 4.5 miles from shore) is allowed from sunrise to sunset during the park closure. Those fishing in the same watercraft must follow all applicable Michigan executive order guidance regarding social distancing. As stated above, the island and all facilities are closed and there are no services available, including fuel.

Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)-(2)

Notice: This administrative order applies to all individuals subject to the regulatory authority of the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of Isle Royale National Park, including park visitors, government employees, concession employees, park residents and stakeholders, except as follows:

  • Authorized essential NPS employees performing critical functions.
  • Agency partners performing critical functions including, but not limited to, the United States Coast Guard.

Finding: The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes of maintaining public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The park will monitor Michigan Executive Orders, State and CDC guidance on reopening, and recommendations from local health departments to determine if or when reopening may be possible. This order is consistent with the following state, federal, and tribal directives and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines:

These directives require the NPS to take the actions identified above because:

  • The State Executive Orders and CDC Guidance referenced above require social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Opening Park facilities, docks, lodging, shared employee housing, ferry/seaplane transportation, and allowing private boating access is likely to violate the requirement that persons stay at least 6 feet from people outside of the same household.
  • The United States and Canada closed the border to all travel that is non-essential such as tourism and recreational travel. recreational in nature.

The park will be monitored to ensure compliance with these closures and restrictions.

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until rescinded. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will be modified or removed when conditions warrant.

Approval: Mark Romanski, Acting Superintendent
May 21, 2020

Last updated: May 21, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


(906) 482-0984

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