Bikepacking is permitted but limited on Isle Royale. According to the Superintendent's Compendium, bicycles and similiar wheeled devices may only be used in specified areas.
Bikepackers may utilize Isle Royale and its transportation options to service a bikepacking trip. Bikepackers need to carefully plan their trips, paying special attention to transportation, camping, and bicycle regulations.
Bikepacking on Isle Royale
Bikepacking is permitted:
- In Houghton parking areas
- On park roads in the developed, non-wilderness areas at Rock Harbor and Windigo
Bikepacking is not permitted:
- On trails
- In campgrounds
- In designated wilderness areas (99% of the park)
- Outside of Rock Harbor and Windigo developed areas
Bicycles must be stored at public bike racks in Rock Harbor or Windigo for the duration of the visit.
Bicycles may not be ridden or walked on trails or in campgrounds. For this reason, bikepackers should be prepared to walk or pack their luggage and gear to their campsite.
Bikepackers need to be prepared to camp or stay at the Rock Harbor Lodge (reservations required). A camping permit is required to stay in a campground.
Campground stay limits must be observed. Rock Harbor campground has a one night stay limit. Multi-night stays may require backpacking to campgrounds outside of Rock Harbor or Windigo developed areas.
Traveling with a Bicycle
Bikepackers traveling to Isle Royale are typically touring a loop from Minnesota to Michigan, or vice versa. See ferry transportation services to determine which ferry routes and schedules support bikepacking transportation.
Transportation services require advance reservations, and transporting a bicycle may require additional fees.
Backpacking & Camping
Prepare for your backpacking and camping trip using these resources.
How to Travel to Isle Royale
Multiple ferries and a seaplane service transport visitors to the park.
For Your Safety
As your trip gets near, use this guide to help prepare, learn what to expect, and consider how you will take responsibility for your safety.
Last updated: June 22, 2023