Current Conditions at Isle Royale

A family of two adults and two children wearing large backpacks hikes through a forest meadow.
Check current conditions to know what to expect for your trip to Isle Royale.

Nelson Decker

Quick Facts

Alerts & Closures


  • Your safety is your responsibility. Have a conservative trip plan, plan your gear with conditions in mind, be first aid ready, and have plans on what you might do in case something goes wrong. Self-rescue is the best rescue as park response is limited and help could be hours or days away. Come prepared with everything you may need.
  • Fall Weather: Fall weather in the park can be unpredictable. Throughout the month of September services are reduced. Transportation delays are common. Come prepared with layers, rain gear, extra food, and extra prescriptions.
  • Water is Life: Stay Hydrated. Potable water is only available in Rock Harbor and Windigo. To be assured of no risk of contamination from small bacteria and viruses, all filtered water should be further treated with iodine or other approved chemical methods. 



  • Practice Fire Safety: Campfires are permitted at a handful of campgrounds. A metal fire ring or grate is provided where campfires are allowed; never build your own ring. Use dead and down wood no bigger than your wrist. Keep your fire small and burn down to ash; be sure the fire is completely out before leaving it.
  • Mount Franklin Trail: Hazards may still exist from the Mount Franklin Fire. If hiking through the burn area, stay on the trail for your safety. Rock cairns are in place on the Mount Franklin Trail to guide hikers through the burn area.


  • Potable Water:
    • Windigo: Available at the spigot near the flagpole in downtown Windigo and at Washington Creek Campground through the morning of October 2.
    • Rock Harbor: Available at the spigot behind the Trading Post and at Rock Harbor Campground through the morning of September 28.
  • Restrooms:
    • Windigo: Open until October 2.
    • Rock Harbor:
      • Restrooms near Visitor Center are closed.
      • Restrooms near Greenstone Grill and Lighthouse Restaurant are open through September 25.
    • Bring toilet paper for use in outhouses.
  • Showers & Laundry
    • Windigo: Closed for the season.
    • Rock Harbor: Closed for the season.
  • Visitor Centers Hours
  • Rock Harbor Lodge 
    • Closed for the season. 
      • No services are available.
    • Fuel is not available.
  • Windigo Store
    • Closed for the season.
    • Fuel is not available.

Transportation Services

Questions about transportation services and making reservations for 2023 may be directed toward respective providers. Dates do sell out; reserve early.


  • Stay Night Limits: As of 9/1/2023, consecutive night stay limits in most campgrounds are lifted. Stay limits in Rock Harbor, Three Mile, Lane Cove and Washington Creek campgrounds remain in effect until 9/17/2023.
  • General Conditions: Campgrounds are dry, with the exception of locations where significant beaver activity has caused flooding. Downed trees may obstruct campsites. Check for hazard trees before choosing a campsite.


  • General Conditions: Trails are generally dry, with the exception of locations where significant beaver activity has caused flooding. Certain sections of boardwalks are missing on select trails. Be prepared to ford these areas and get wet. Hiking poles are useful for navigating difficult boardwalk sections.
  • Downed Trees: Trail crews are working to clear trails of downed trees across the island. However, obstructions still exist on trails and in campgrounds. Bring hiking poles to assist with difficult sections and wear sturdy, well-broken-in footwear.
  • Trail Navigation: Changing trail conditions due to beaver activity and wildfires from previous years can make certain sections of trail difficult to navigate. Have a map and compass and/or a GPS and know how to use them.

Water Conditions


  • Rutting Bull Moose: The rut, or moose mating season, has begun. Bull moose during this time may exhibit unpredictable behavior. Both bull and cow moose produce loud vocal noises. If a moose were to approach, protect yourself by putting a large tree or rock between you and the moose.
  • Cow Moose with Calves: Cow moose are extremely protective of their calves. If you see a cow moose (no antlers), look to see if there is a calf around. If a cow moose were to approach, protect yourself by putting a large tree or rock between you and the moose.
  • Wolves: If you see a wolf, do not approach. If the wolf comes closer, encourage it to leave by clapping and yelling. If you cannot safely leave, make yourself big and aggressively use hiking poles or branches. Wolf attacks are extremely rare and unlikely to happen, but if it does, fight by any means necessary.


Check if dive buoys are currently on or off station.

The following navigational buoys have not yet been installed:

  • Five Foot Reef
  • Malone Bay
  • Cumberland Reef


  • All recreational boaters intending to arrive at Isle Royale from Canada must clear U.S. customs prior to their arrival. This is true regardless of the nationality of the individual or purpose of the visit.
  • Private seaplanes cannot come directly to Isle Royale NP from Canada and utilize the ROAM app.
  • Learn more about clearing customs ahead of time.

Isle Royale National Park

Last updated: September 29, 2023